Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Wallowing

Yep, you can tell by the title, I'm going to do some wallowing.

I don't really feel like a writer anymore. Besides occasionally kvetching about grammar on this blog and covering Rutgers basketball over here, I've hardly written a word since October.

It's not for lack of trying.

In mid-September, I moved. I'm between houses right now, stuck in a bedroom, barely balancing my laptop on my knee trying to get some writing done. I've been doing that since we moved. And each day I open my manuscript--I'm in the middle of revisions--and stare at it.

Sometimes I change a sentence. Some times I cut out words. I've made chapters better. But I can't get any momentum. I can't focus on it.

I've thought about ditching the revisions and starting something new. I have plenty of ideas. But here's the thing... the idea for this project? It's kind of been my dream project. It's an idea I've had for years. And I never thought I was mature enough to write it. Now I'm 3 and a quarter drafts in and I'm completely frozen.

Part of it is because there's something wrong with the ms and I haven't figured out what that is.

The other part is definitely my surroundings. I can't focus on anything. I've barely read any books in the past 5 months either. Just the ones I've reviewed here (and that should tell you how good they were.)

And even worse, I feel guilty. Each time someone talks about writing on Twitter, I get mad at myself. Each time I try to inspire myself and fail... I get embarrassed.

I need to get out of this funk.

I just haven't figured out how yet.

Until then... I'll wallow.

Which doesn't help... I know it.



Dana King said...

A not dissimilar thing happened t me last fall. I took the summer off, as planned, and got back into it after Labor Day. Then we had a basement flood and found a crack in the foundation. I tried to keep the writing going, but I had too much to do and too much on my mind, so I shut it down. Getting ramped up again was a real challenge.

Treat it like an exercise program. Use baby steps to get yourself into shape. If revisions are easier than fresh drafts, pick a chapter--or even a page--and do that much every day. Or five days a week. The trick is to set an easily achievable goal so the task never seems too daunting. It can even be childishly easy, but increase slowly over time and pretty soon you'll find a rhythm.

Thomas Pluck said...

I think you need to join Lynn and myself for our monthly writer's beerapalooza and/or bourbonpalooza.

I got around that problem by writing my "big project" first... hopefully everything after this one will be a breeze (hahaha).

Scott D. Parker said...

Dude, I am with you there. I've been in a non-writing funk for awhile. I decided that, like Dana says, to treat it like exercise. I now require myself to write some form of prose per day no matter what. There are days when, at 11:45pm, I don't have crap to write. I write something. Might trash it later, but I exercised the muscle. Now, other days, I bust out more. I've been doing this for 46 days in a row. It's becoming a habit to do that. Now, I'm seeking more time to write more prose. Sooner or later, it'll all flow out.