Friday, October 28, 2011

Need writing counseling? The Doctor is (preposition)


Ah, who am I kidding, I know this thing's on. I just haven't been here in a while. While my fellow Alliterati have been banging away faithfully on their keyboards with great topics, I've been dark. Sure, I've been moving, but moving doesn't take six weeks. C'mon.

To be honest, people, I've had a serious case of writer's block.

Like, identity crisis serious. Everything I managed to squeak out of my keyboard or pen was disastrously bad or incongruous with the rest of the story's tone or Just. Plain. Weird. I had a bit of a breakdown. I felt like a poseur trying to write about writing when I had nothing to write about, right? I had a serious case of the fakers, and I didn't know what to do.

Except take a little time off. I forced myself to get my butt OUT of the chair (apologies Jane Yolen!) and I forced myself NOT to stare at the great, uncomfortably white screen of death that is an empty word document. When baby's naptime and my regular writing time came around, I did anything BUT write: I read books, I worked out, I (sob!) cleaned the house, I filled up my canteen of thoughts and quotes and quips and experiences from which we all drink in order to write what we know. When the itch came to write, I settled down and tapped out a few things...but as far as forcing myself to pen out a thousand words a day? I couldn't do it.

It took a long while and a lot of rereading past WIPs that I loved to reconcile our breakup. And I'm still working my way up to a full recovery! Writing and I have made an unsteady truce (mostly in the form of a really motivational crit partner and a renewed interest in an old WIP) but I know I can crawl out of it. Because despite the fact that writing was a joyless drudge for a few months, it wasn't before that. I loved it. I LIVED for it.

And I know we can get back to that.

What about you? How are you and your writing getting along? Any suggestions on overcoming a massive writing conflict? What your form of counseling/therapy?


Peggy Eddleman said...

I think a good break and then reading past WIPs is the best therapy ever! Especially when you read the parts you REALLY had fun writing. I definitely think it can be SO HARD, though. The longer you go without writing, the harder it is to pick it up again. (*Ahem.* Not that I speak from experience or anything. No. Not at all. I'm not putting off that next WIP. Really. I'm just choosing to put my focus elsewhere... I could start again ANY TIME I WANTED.)

Keriann Greaney Martin said...

My WiP and I took a bit of a break as well. Mostly, I was lazy. The I was afraid to settle back in - it just seem like a huge mountain I had to climb. But I forced myself to just sit down and do it. I also made a NaNoWriMo pledge to write 50 pages next month. Now I'm back in the swing of things. I tackled a super important scene this week and I'm feeling much better. Glad to hear that your writing is getting better too. Sometimes a break is what the therapy cat ordered :D.

K. Marie Criddle said...

Ra ra, Peggy, RA! We know of all the good things that happen from Peggy manuscripts, so hopefully that motivates you! (And yes, of course. We can stop/start/quit surfing the internet ANY TIME. :D)

And Keri, yay for goals!! Maybe I should make a little NaNoWriMo goal, too. Maybe not the whole 50000 words thing...but SOMETHING at least. Good luck!