Well, over the last few days, I’ve done some serious blogging, but no fiction work.
I can’t tell if I’m depressed over my job situation and prospects, or if I’m just … in a dry spell. Whatever the case, it’s annoying as all get out.
I’ve tried reading. Over the last few weeks I’ve read more than I read all of last year combined. I’ve been thinking about reading some of my craft books to see if those break something loose. They helped — briefly — when I originally read them. Well, some of them helped. One of the best books I own on the craft is Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell. It covers a lot of things, and gives an overview of another book he wrote on plotting. He gives some great tips and examples, and even a couple of terrific exercises. Good stuff.
So maybe that would help. Problem is, I don’t feel motivated to read it.
Ultimately, that’s the problem, I think. Motivation. Not having any ideas doesn’t help either, but lacking motivation is a major issue.
Another issue I have is guilt. I feel guilty about writing when I’m out of work. I don’t give myself permission to do it. I feel guilty about not working on my current novel, my semi-finished manuscript, or something I’ve promised someone else. I have a literary fiction piece I could plow into again, but I can’t get excited about that project either. I can’t get around the guilt of feeling I should be doing something else when I want to write. Search the job boards, help clean the house, play with the kids … anything. But writing? Can’t seem to get that one in the schedule.
Late at night I read, but that’s not helping as much as I thought. I’ve pounded down a couple of novels in a couple of weeks, put one down because it stank, and now have started another. So I’m pretty busy as a reader.
None of that is helping me write, though. Even though it should. Meanwhile I have yet another idea for a novel languishing on a legal pad on my desk. And I’ve got about ten others I could tweak and torque if I didn’t like any of the other things I have simmering too.
So maybe ideas aren’t the problem. If not, it’s motivation. And guilt.
Those are pretty tough obstacles. Do any of you out there struggle with getting yourself by an obstacle to something you love doing? What tricks and/or techniques do you have for getting around the blockade? Writers, what do you do to get over those blocks that I haven’t tried yet?
Sound off, y’all!
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