Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Writer's Block or Not

My time away from writing got me thinking about writer's block.

Here's what I think. I don't believe in it. Not one bit. But, hey! That's my personal opinion, if you feel differently, that's cool with me.

But I can tell you this, at the moment, I'm riding the Revision Roller Coaster. And, at times, I feel like I'm going over the top then flying down with a hands up, screaming kind of fun. But then there's those scary climbs that feel like they drag on and on, making me feel more and more afraid. OR the feeling that I've been on far too long and that I've had enough because my head hurts and I just might hurl!

Anyone else? Is it just me?

But back to the BLOCK. I can honestly say, I just went through a period of time that I could not write. I couldn't. Not only did life not give me the needed time, as family took priority, but even if I found an hour here or there, I couldn't progress. I did manage to jot a few notes, but that's all I was capable of. It wasn't writer's block, it was stress and exhaustion, and when you've got that going on, getting your brain to create isn't the brain's priority.

But then there are working days like I had yesterday, where I feel like things are clipping along. Wheee! Followed by a day like today when it feels like I'm walking through mud--thick, gooey, deep mud. I know (and have to remind myself) another clip-of-a-day will come, but I've got to keep taking one step at time through muck, no matter how heavy my legs feel (or how messy or ugly it gets), in order to get there.
You know?
I think part of the reason I love to write novels is because they are a lot like jigsaw puzzles. You know how you can sit and stare at the pieces but just can't seem to make any connections AT ALL? You're ready to pull your hair out and slide the whole thing, in one big sweep, right off the table and onto the floor. Just give up. But then you walk away and when you come back, one piece finds its place and that leads to many others, until finally you have a whole section done and you feel sweet victory. And Happy Dance!

All right, thanks for letting me get that out. I think I was in need of a little personal pep talk. I needed to remind myself of those things (and the Happy Dance), because today was a day of walking through the mud...and the mud was deep.


Anonymous said...

i remember days walking through salty mud flats when i was a child - i loved the pull on my feet, the schlorping sound as my boots pulled free of the mud, the slightly naughty joy when the mud kept my boot and my foot came forward, landing in the cold, slippery mud, sock first, then my nana scolding me while trying to hide her grin

that is so, SO different from the immovable mud of no progress - i wonder if there is a way we could transform one into the other?

i hope today is better for you!

Stephanie Perkins said...

What a great post.

I'm struggling with my writing right now too, and I'm finding it incredibly difficult to remember that the good days WILL come again. Thanks for the reminder.

And we're all rooting for you! You have a LOT of Wheee! moments in your very near future :) I can feel it.