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?

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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