It hasn’t been a good couple of months for me creatively. Which is typical of life really, the one time of the year where I’m more or less getting snowed under with things to write and I more or less lose the ability to do so. I’ve spent literally days staring at my computer screen, trying to bring myself to do some proper writing. (Blogging isn’t really proper writing, it’s basically the writing equivalent of standing in the street shouting at passers-by.) And in that time I have achieved more or less nothing. This isn’t a case of writer’s block, writer’s block I can deal with, that’s just the problem of not knowing what to write. The situation I find myself in is not being able to bring myself to write. Just staring at the empty or half written pages fills me with a profound sense of ennui. That hopeless feeling of “honestly why do I even bother?” It’s hardly an ideal, and as much fun as cranking the stereo volume up to 11, curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea and hoping that the world spontaneously catches fire, it doesn’t really achieve anything.
But regardless of this I’ve got to summon up the strength to write somewhere between 4.5 and 9 thousand words by the end of February. That is an awful lot of words. It’s more than slightly intimidating. Especially considering that I usually only manage to force out 1 thousand a month by sheer luck and no small force of will. Both of which I feel I am in short supply of right now. So I’ve decided to cheat a little bit. 5 thousand words might seem a little intimidating, but 10 little sets of 500? That seems eminently doable, or at least I’d hope it’ll be. I’ll disguise these little parts as me trying to be clever with story structure, no will ever suspect a thing!
But seriously, I really want to get out of this rut and back to churning out some words. Not being able to is seriously doing my head in.
January 8th, 2013 at 3:48 pm
Ah, John I’d like to pour molten lava through your soul, fire lightning through your nervous system and take a sledgehammer to th’blocks. I’d like to pitch collaborative writey project ideas your way and encourage you with all kinds of creative cheerleading gymnastics but that will probably just irritate you. You’re irritated enough so I’ll stop before I overwhelm you or come on like a patronising platitude-peddling self-righteous pseudo-guru.
All I can do is offer solidarity and sage nods of empathy in the midst of the ennui and unnerving void we’re all inhabiting. I want you churning out words ’cause I like your words (you write real good, y’know) and ’cause I like it when intelligent people who are good with words are happy writing words. Write on… *waves fist, pours lava, shoots lightning and hammers infernal blocks*
January 8th, 2013 at 5:33 pm
I think I’m just suffering from free-time overload. I always work best when I’m busy and have other things to be doing. Basically when writing becomes my go-to procrastination destination. As is I’ve just come of the back of being on holiday for nearly a month.
And please don’t pour molten lava through my soul. I fear it may sting slightly.
January 9th, 2013 at 4:09 pm
I know this feeling – have you tried looking at books on writing? I find that can be quite motivating. The Stephen King one is the go-to, but I’m reading Write To Be Published by Nicola Morgan at the moment and there’s a lot of no-nonsense advice in there too which made me want to go and do something constructive.
January 10th, 2013 at 6:44 pm
I’ve never actually even looked at a book on how to write, I’ve always just muddled along. Might need to look into one if I’m going to keep at it.
January 10th, 2013 at 8:07 pm
I think it’s quite a nice thing to do partly because of the practical help and suggestions and partly to know you are not alone 🙂
February 25th, 2013 at 7:00 pm
[…] is pretty much what happened yesterday at about half past nine in the evening. Back at the start of January I was harping on about an anthology piece that I was hammering away at. It has been a bugbear of […]