My name is Stephanie, and the evidence shows: I can’t write. I don’t have a novel out. No essays, shorts. Nothing I like, anyway. Not that I’m complaining or anything, these are just facts.

I’ve been writing stories since the fourth grade, and trying to pull together a satisfactory novel draft for the past four years. Though I’ve made significant progress and gotten enough positive response to keep at it, I haven’t, on paper, accomplished much. I’ve thought a lot about why. I asked around.

Whenever I go looking for feedback, I hear a few things. The most common thing writers say about me is that I make nice sentences. My professors say I have an “unusual affinity for sentence structure”. I also have an “active mind with a wealth of ideas”. I occasionally am “guilty of going a little overboard” on the poetic writing, but I self-corrected in that area four months ago. Alright. Then why aren’t these drafts turning out the way I want them to? Why aren’t they complete? The language is there, the structure is there. I read plenty. I don’t know what’s missing. To understand this, I had to think about myself from a distance. Sort of like being stuck in a maze and flying up into the air to get an aerial view and find the way out. What do I do? What are my habits? What do I think about? What am I doing wrong? How does this compare to the people who’ve accomplished what I want to accomplish? (Yes, I just asked an unacceptable amount of rhetorical questions. Deal.)

That’s what this blog is about. I want to think clearly about my work and identify the holes so I can patch them up. I also want to help other people get over their creative blocks in the process, if possible. Because keeping stories in your head gets really, really lonely sometimes. Only sometimes, though. The thrill of being the first person to see your ideas unfold does make up for it, usually.

So, with all that said. Hello, I’m Stephanie, I can’t write, and I’m trying. And I hope I get it right this time.


Now read this


It’s nice to re-read old posts, not because I like them, but exactly because I don’t. My writing’s gotten slightly cleaner. I keep waiting for a plateau and continue missing it. A few things that have been up: Signing a deal with an... Continue →

Subscribe to Stephanie Manova

Don’t worry; we hate spam with a passion.
You can unsubscribe with one click.