I Have a Confession

Lord, forgive me for writer’s block. Or whatever you want to call it.

Have you ever been at a place where you have loads of ideas and no interest in doing any of them? I’ve been there since I came back from Crested Butte last year. I just keep rewriting, editing previous works. Submitting them. And not moving forward.
I’m not sure if I need new stimulation. I cleaned all day yesterday, which hardly made a dent in the house, to be honest, but cleaning has helped in the past. At least I have my workstation for the first time in a year. If I’d gone for a walk this morning, maybe with a notebook, that might have helped, but I’m still in my housecoat and the kidlit will be up any minute wanting breakfast. Can you tell I’m just spinning my wheels? My hubby complained over the weekend that I spend too much time at the computer and he’s right. But what have I accomplished? I think perhaps that’s what has me paralyzed. The question of whether or not what you’re doing has any importance, value, or relevancy is agonizing.
Maybe I’ll wade through some more of my mountain of email. Enter a contest. Maybe I’ll make cookies. Or weave a basket underwater while listening to Beethoven and thinking of other useless activities. Do you ever get to this place? What do you do?






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16 Responses to “I Have a Confession”

  1. Julie says:

    I am at this place right now! I signed up for a novel writing challenge hoping it would help me get out of this, but so far it's not working too well. I'm hoping for a better week this week though. I just need to get out of this funk.

    I know what you mean too about questioning the value of what you're doing, I struggle with that as well. It's hard but I know we just need to keep plugging away, your writing is definitely valuable! 🙂

  2. Janet Johnson says:

    I feel like I just barely slogged out of this place. I sat my hubby down and FORCED him to pound out a plot with me for one of my ideas. Amazingly it worked, and I feel so much better!

    Not to say things are perfect, but I fully understand what you are talking about. It's an awful place to be.

  3. ClothDragon says:

    I get to this place too. I expect we'll both get out of it sooner or later.

    For mine, I've barely even been reading and when I do read I am running through nonfiction.

    I have faith in us though. We can do this.


  4. Eve says:

    I step back and evaluate what I've done, maybe talk about it with some friends, hopefully to encourage each other. A little distance and feedback from others usually won't hurt.

    Btw, I kept forgetting to tell you, your notebooks have arrived. Thank you so much! 🙂

  5. Natalie Aguirre says:

    I've been thinking of a new idea for months but I can't quite get a handle on the magical system. For awhile I couldn't see the end either. Though I may have figured it out. It's a frustrating place. Perhaps outline one of your ideas to see if you can jump start it. Sometimes I like to just read for inspiration. Hang in there. You'll get out of it.

    And yes, I hear all the time how I'm on the computer too much.

  6. Mary says:

    I have to admit, I had not noticed you are suffering from writer's block. I was too busy admiring your determination and dedication to rewrite and re-edit! I look forward to reading something new from you… but I admire your willingness to do the HARD work too. Your creativity and hard work will reconnect soon.

  7. Victoria Dixon says:

    Thank you all so much for these words of comfort and support! God, I love this community.

    I'm wondering if making my confession (Hail Mary, etc.) didn't open the flood gates just a tad. I got an outline finished! Woo hoo!

    As you said, Janet, I can't say it's perfect. I used Blake Snyder's outline method from Save The Cat – not the index cards, but the more generalized layout – and I think that it will allow me the wiggle room I need while still helping me to see where I'm going. That said, the part labeled "Fun and Games" and "The Heart of the Novel" seems awfully dry and short. I remember having this problem with my last ms, so I'm not TOO worried. This is a better spot to be than where I was!

    I think when I get to that place of post-book partem depression and exhaustion, I need to give myself recovery time. Go for walks, exercise, read for enjoyment, spend time with my family without guilt over lost writing time, none of which I've been doing!

    But you're right, we can do this. Pull up the bootstraps and GO FOR A WALK. Smell spring outside. What does it smell like? Write that down. Listen to those insane wood doves. What do they sound like? Write that down. I've known for years that forcing myself to do sense-writing helps me, but it's like, now that I'm a parent AND a writer I don't give myself time to do that anymore. I paid for it. I've paid for a year. Bad Mommy Writer. Sigh.

    Anyway, Eve, I plan on sending out what I've prepared to my wonderful critique group. I know you're poised with computer highlighter waiting, Janet. LOL

    Thanks for reminding me to get my feet back on the pavement and my butt in the chair, Natalie. ;D It feels wonderful to have just written a decent outline, but now I have to WRITE!

    Julie, I hope your novel writing challenge starts working out better. May God bless you and your muse! Maybe questioning the value of what we do helps us to continually raise the bar. I hope so, cause I sure do it a lot! LOL

    Mary, thanks so much for the comfort, bunny hug and comment. I love it when you come on here.

  8. Medeia Sharif says:

    I go through this and I sit my butt down and write…but it's so hard.

    Sometimes I switch between wips to pique my interest.

  9. Victoria Dixon says:

    Hi, Medeia. Actually, I HAVE written about 2/3rds of a novel over the course of the year. But I've known from chapter two on that I didn't have enough information and that I wouldn't be able to finish. I don't know if I have enough interest, either, which is critical. I'll have to revisit it once I've managed to pull enough data together and see if I can salvage anything, but I'm burned out on it right now.

    I decided I needed to exercise other muscles and am world building for the first time in about fifteen years. It's fun and I think I'll be able to start a pseudo-Nano venture sometime later this summer. I'm really looking forward to it, which is more than I can say for the last WIP.

  10. Barbara Ann Wright says:

    I read a great book called The Writer's Portable Therapist that helped me through writers' block.

  11. Victoria Dixon says:

    Thanks, Barbara! I'll have to check it out. I have a nasty suspicion this past year was me on writer's post partum and it will happen the next time I finish a book, in all likelihood. Sigh.

  12. Rachna Chhabria says:

    We all go through this place at some time or the other. It depends on how long we halt there. Just start a new a project and this writing slump will go away.

  13. Victoria Dixon says:

    Sure hope you're right, Rachna! The new project(s) are in the wings. I'm doing prep work for now and am more than a little scared of starting again. Sigh.

  14. Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina says:

    Hi, Victoria, I came to your site via Rachna's Scriptorium. Wow, I wouldn't call rewriting and sending things out "writer's block". You probably needed the time and space to do just that. Sometimes when I'm in the middle of a new idea, my old things just sit in the filing cabinet, and that's certainly not good. Kudo's to you for keeping things moving!

  15. Maybelle says:

    Ahh writer's block! I'm in a bit of that right now too – no matter how much time I have, I just can't seem to get myself down and writing.

    Sometimes it is nice to take a break, though. To go out and do something unwriterly – like shopping, cleaning your room, so forth. Brainstorming with other people works too, as you sometimes get surprising ideas.

  16. Victoria Dixon says:

    Thanks for dropping in, Elizabeth and especially for the vote of confidence! Nope, it was (still could be) a block because I was relying on the older stuff – anything, really – so that I didn't have to write new work. That said, Maybelle mentions exactly what I ended up doing. A totally insufficient amount of housekeeping and a few walks, reading of one invaluable book and I found a way to complete an outline to my satisfaction. It's already in the hands of my crit buddies and I'm hoping they can help me brainstorm next Tuesday. (Please, please.) I do already have one good idea for the ending. (Thanks again, Janet. Usually I know what sort of whammy I want for the ending, but not this time.)
    Maybelle, it also helped to get myself on a schedule. I'm not really keeping it yet, but I AM trying to get to bed earlier so that I can get up earlier. Also, forcing myself to clean out the clutter in my house had helped the clutter in my brain a bit. I'm notorious for poor housekeeping. ;D

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