Monday, October 17, 2011

Momentarily winded

I know this topic has been covered before, likely ad nauseum, but since we all have short attention spans, it seemed safe to go over it again.

One day you’re running a mile a minute; words can’t appear quick enough on the screen, you’re typing them so fast, desperate to catch them before they disappear. The streak seems impossible to break, even if you do miss a day at the keyboard. You’re speeding along too fast to notice you’re tired, and pushing through fatigue is as easy for you as it is for MacGyver to disarm a bomb. You’ll find a way.

Recently, this was me. I was writing so much I could hardly keep up with myself. I finished a second installment in a series, and proceeded to the prologue of the third book without breaking stride. I alternated between stories, desperate to keep up with myself. I wanted to get half of the next book complete before even thinking about the other book’s publication. And all was going great until the real world I was desperate to ignore came crashing in. Suddenly I had my schedule packed with a book to edit, a move to complete, a missing coworker at work, CPs, more edits, and on and on we go. It’s no wonder my hot-streak abandoned me. Truly, it was only a matter of time.

I hate not writing. I hate the “I’ll do it tomorrow” mentality, because I know tomorrow won’t fare any better unless I make myself do something today. I’ve preached before about not forcing words when they won’t budge, and while that’s true to a degree, there is also something to be said between recognizing the difference between block, fatigue, and simple losing of one’s footing. I think mine is a mixture of the latter two. The one thing that comforts me is the knowledge it won’t last. Just as a hot streak can’t stay hot forever, nor can a lapse in productivity. Eventually, as any writer will attest, stories, characters, and words can’t help from pushing on the corners of your mind until you have no option but to let them loose on paper.

In the meantime, try some writing exercises. Read, go on walks, do those things you normally do when inspired. Eventually the pieces will fall back into place…just be ready for the words to come rushing out.


sarahballance said...

You are WAY too good to hang in a word slump for long. Brilliance requires recharging, is all. ;c)

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