Sunday, September 29, 2013

Been Missing cuz of Writers Block

I've been on a bit of a downer the past couple of weeks. Not depressed or anything, but suffering from some really severe writer's block. It's gotten to the point that every time I try to write I just freeze up from anxiety. It's why I haven't even been able to make a blog post for a while, and why I haven't even bothered to visit other blogs. Yes, I have been actively avoiding all of you out there. I couldn't stand to witness your apparent success compared to my absolute failure.

Over the last couple of days I started to track back to the inciting incident. Usually when I feel this way, there's something that set it off. And because it was so specific to writing, (day job wasn't suffering, what little social life I have was fine) I knew it had to be writing related. Then I realized that there were two things going on.

First problem: My last post centered around a grammar quirk that I had never noticed before, but now I see every where. I started to wonder what other wacky things I was doing that totally dragged down my work. So whenever I started writing I agonized over every sentence, wondering what I was doing wrong this time. The only reason why Weaver was completed is because my first draft was truly a vomit draft, but now I'm deliberately choking back my own bile. I can't write unless all filters are off, and I've cranked my filters up to 11.

Second problem: Regarding Weaver: After slaving over my query and synopsis, researching agents, making a list of possibles, and steeling myself for the query process, I realized that I just didn't want to go through with it. Yes, I want to be published, but I don't want to go the traditional route. I have been going back and forth between traditional and self-publishing from the day I finished the first draft. When I finally settled on traditional, I made that decision because I thought it was the right one for me. I thought that publishing traditionally would be less work for me. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it would be just as much work, if not more; first convincing an agent that I was worth the effort, then convincing a publisher. Plus, these days publishers expect new authors to do a lot of their own marketing anyway, so the idea that I could avoid having to market myself and my book (I'm an introvert who second guesses every social interaction I engage in), was a fallacy. So, in addition to being completely freaked out about writing anything new, I was like a deer in the headlights of the oncoming decision to switch publishing tactics. Finally, I talked myself into self publishing.

So yeah, I'm going the indie route. I know that there's a lot of work to do - firstly, getting a good editor - but at this point in my writing life, I feel like it's the right decision.

I'm hoping that identifying these problems, and writing about them, will help me through this writer's block. I know that everyone gets a touch of the Block, but does anyone else have such specific reasons for it?

3 comments:

  1. I've been avoiding other blogs too! This is the first time I've visited blogs in months. And the only comment I'm leaving today because I completely relate to this post.

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  2. As a photographer, I can relate to your block. It is probably one of my worst nightmares. For me what helps keep the work alive is that I have a list of ideas that I do not have time to work on now. I keep this list so when I do have a block, there is so much there that it will spark an idea or two.
    I also have a bucket of small paper ideas to help me out. It might work for you in the future as well.

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  3. I had a lot of "researcher's block" when I was going through grad school. There were some deep-rooted reasons for it, but eventually what helped was to start to understand the deeper reasons why I couldn't seem to do anything, and then I just picked a set time every day, and I took a relaxing bath, and then set a timer for 15 minutes and forced myself to sit down in front of my work for at least that long. Usually what happened was that I ended up working longer, especially since the bath helped calm my mind a bit first. After a few weeks, my research was flowing again and I didn't need the strict routine. It's scary, but it won't last forever, if you don't let it.

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