Ask any creative and they’ll tell you about the anxiety that goes with projects. Imposter syndrome can wreck havoc on the creative process and make you feel blocked.
With writing anxiety you have two choices. One: work through it. Or two: walk away. Yesterday I walked away.
I would usually say that you should write through it. Just persevere, but in this case I needed an out.
I was antsy. Panicky. My cat wouldn’t leave me alone and I needed to get words down. Sometimes you have to give in, and that’s ok. The book will be there when you get back.
Today, I found my words. The well was full. Other days I struggle, but what I don’t do is give up.
Writing is a bunch of ups and downs. It’s a struggle. You can’t wait for your muse to get off their ass but you shouldn’t push yourself until you’re burnt out. It’s a balancing act.
Write what you can and the words add up. Pretty soon you’ll have a book then a series. Ultimately you’ll be sipping cocktails in Hawaii in your vacation home… Or at least coffee at a Starbucks. It’s the little things.
For the first time in years, I don’t have any book ideas. I’m not worried about it. In fact, I’m using my break to write short stories to submit to anthologies.
I don’t like the feeling of being stuck, but I’m taking this as a sign I need to get out and experience life.
There are two things you can do that I’ve found help get your creativity going. One is read. Switch up what you are reading. Try something new.
Two is to go out and live. I had a book idea one day when I was walking my dog. I saw writing in the pavement that said Dorothy. I knew I had to write something based on the Wizard of Oz. I’m proud of t.hat book. It’s out on submission. It’s all thanks to that one aha! moment.
I’m searching for that aha! moment now. I have direction. I just need that one little spark. It will come when I least suspect it, and I’ll be having fun while it happens.
The last few months (who am I kidding, the last year) I’ve fought against the worst brain fog. I’ve still managed to write 55k words of my WIP so far since September. Usually I can write through the block and come out with words writing themselves. Today, I haven’t been so lucky.
Let’s be honest, I don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe ever writer has a reason they can’t seem to write. For me it’s sleepiness, anxiety, or my ADHD (or so they tell me). Writer’s block has become an umbrella term for the problems creatives face when nothing seems to give and when many of the problems can be classified by the DSM 5 (it’s a dense book).
Today, I’ve managed roughly 200 words. I’m going to try again because the only way to beat a block is to write. If that means staring at a blank page then go do something else. Take a walk, experience life, read, or drink coffee (lots of coffee). In the end, go back to writing. Creativity breeds creativity and sooner or later, you won’t struggle anymore.
P.S. I wrote this blog as a distraction from my WIP as well as to get myself writing.