Friday, 29 October 2010

Writer's Block.

No, this is not an advert for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.) It's an advert for me and my pathetic Writer's Block. A lot of writers say that writer's block is just a myth, that if you're a writer you just write. You have good work days and bad work days just like everyone else.

But what if you have two bad weeks? I've lost my motivation and inspiration. Usually I write every morning between 9 and 12 no matter what. Some of those mornings I write pages and pages and am annoyed when my alarm goes off, and I have to go to my other job at the library. Some of those mornings I stare at the clock and write about two sentences and make about twenty-two mugs of tea.

It's just that for the past two weeks I haven't even felt like sitting in front of my screen. My bed has been a more tempting place. The pub has been a more tempting place. My friends houses have been more tempting places. I've distracted myself.

When I visit schools and libraries to talk about my writing I often get the question:
Do you get writer's block and what do you do about it?
Usually I answer that luckily it doesn't happen very often and if it happens I go for long walks and read, and trust that my lust will come back. It has never happened before that my motivation and inspiration hasn't come back. Two weeks is not that long really.

Like with other problems the best thing is to find out where they come from. Why do I feel blocked? The answer is obvious: stress in my life. Uncertainty about where I live, missing my Ex (even if we separated two years ago), waiting for an agent to take me on. If other people have stress in their life I always say: Write about it. So maybe I should follow my own advice. But when I pick up my pen all I want to write is SHIT. And when I sit in front of the computer all I want to do is to spy on people on Facebook. Some people say they can only write when they are depressed. I can only write when I'm happy.

I do a bit of journal writing, which helps. But I don't have my usual flow. Maybe I have to follow my other bit of advice: do it anyway. Even if I just write SHIT SHIT SHIT for a hundred pages I'm still writing. And I have a list in the back of my journal with ideas I've collected. I could just pick one of those ideas and write and see where it takes me. I could, but don't really feel like it.

At least I edited a story today. The Snail House on the theme Hope & Faith for Liar's League.

1 comment:

  1. Brutal. I've had writers block for the last month or so, perhaps longer. It's horrible. And yes, I put it down to stress as well. Good luck - I figure it always comes back in the end. I've taken to going to the pub at lunchtime, buying a pint and scribbling incoherent doggerel in my notebook in the hope that something good will come out of it.