Monday, May 9, 2011

Heading down the Garden State Parkway and getting off at the exit clearly marked, The Zone

Have you ever been in a place where you have something you really want to work on and something you really need to work on? For the past few weeks, I have been procrastinating on something that is beyond due simply because I want to do something else. The trouble is, I know I shouldn’t neglect X because of Y, and working Y inspires guilt…therefore instead of working on either I do nothing.

At first, I identified this as blatant avoidance behavior. I wanted to write, but I had something else to do. Consequently, for several weeks now, I’ve done neither. Time on the computer has been spent on Twitter, blogs, surfing, visiting guilty-pleasure forums, and essentially doing anything but what I ought to do. My deadline for Project X has passed, but thankfully it’s a rather lax assignment to begin with. The trouble is when you’re in The Zone, everything seems easy and conquerable. Once you leave The Zone the world again feels disjointed and every effort placed forth to find your way back seems forced. On my writing projects, I was in The Zone, switching easily between two WIPs and cranking out upwards of 10k a week. Now my muse is silent, because I let a good thing run dry.

To sum it up, it sucks.

Writing is a tricky art. Treasure those times when words flow naturally and each scene is easy to visualize, for if something should throw you off your game, finding your way back can be a lengthy process. The best tools I can suggest are rereading whatever it is you last committed to paper, and ensure your writing space is void of all outside temptations. Dry spells are inevitable, especially following lengthy bouts of creativity. For the moment, I blame my dormant muse on Project X, though if I were inclined to be honest with myself, it’s likely just an excuse.

In the meantime, perhaps I should try and complete Project X. Perhaps once it’s behind me I’ll be in a better place to hunt down The Zone.


Sharon S. said...

I know what you mean. I was in the zone for reading and reviewing. I was cranking them out! Then...I started working on something for a blog I am part of and I haven't read a book in a week!! OMG, now I can't seem to want to sit down and read, I just want to troll the internet for information. What is the point of being a blogger if you don't read? . Must finish my 3 B.I.P.s (books in progress) so I can pleasure read the new Sookie Book.
Good luck with your muse. She is still there, you are just having trouble hearing her with all the other static :)

Nikki London said...

You spoke to my soul. The end.

Rosalie Stanton said...

@Sharon - Thank you for your comments (and apologize my tardiness in responding). Hopefully life has settled down for you a bit and your BIPs are complete, or at the least nearing completion. As for me, I got my project complete (and then some!) and am gradually working my way back to my WIPs. They're getting so close to the finish line, too. Egads!

@Nikki - You've been freakishly busy. LOL. Maybe we can help each other stay on track.

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