Thursday, July 14, 2011

Writing Deprivation

First, only TWO of my winners have emailed me their book choices. Please check to see if you won! And if so, email me. If I don't hear from the others in a week or so, I may have to redraw new winners.

Also, I am participating in a live chat tonight! It's at 9 PM EST, and we'd love to have you there. I've not done many of these, but I'll be talking with these ladies once a month. Should be fun!

And now I should, like, post a real post or something...

I haven't written for almost two weeks, and all I can think about is how I HAVE NOT WRITTEN FOR ALMOST TWO WEEKS. And not just writing, but editing, too. Heck, even reading! I've been so busy with other stuff that by the time I sit down I'm too exhausted to think.

This is bad for me, personally. I'm an habitual writer. I like and even need to write on a consistent basis. I know not all writers are like that, but it's important for me to keep working.

If I don't? In short, I go crazy.

I get really tense, first of all. Right now my mind just keeps going "I haven't written. I haven't written. Holy crap, I probably won't be able to write today either I AM GOING TO DIE." Add to that a considerable amount of frustration, because I start to get really mad at my life for not letting me write. I hate that part—I am so embarrassed about that part. But it's the truth. I get MEAN when I don't have time to write.

Then there's the other issue: Doubt. Now that I've been away from my project for 2 weeks, I worry it sucks. I worry I'm wasting my time. I wonder if I should work on something else. And maybe all this doubt is a sign that the project really does lack merit. Of course, those feelings cycle on each other, because then I end up not writing for longer and longer because I doubt the project but I'm not sure what else to work on either.'s bad when I stop writing.

I need to start up again. Why is starting so hard?


  1. Because “Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.” - Pablo Picasso.

    It's true. The marring of a blank page or canvas is a destructive act, and as humans we are inherently uncomfortable with destruction. Granted, when we get used to it, by practicing our craft every day, it becomes easy.

    But when take breaks we allows those protective instincts back in. The ones that tell us that destruction even for creativity will hurt, and we don't like pain. But it will be worth it!

    Stay strong! You can write again!


  2. Like you, I'm a habitual writer. If I lose that momentum, it becomes really hard (mentally/emotionally) to build it up again. Now, it's a little different if I lose the momentum for a good reason (like a book deal ;P) but in my case it's usually for something bad (like two broken A/Cs in the same week).

    The easiest way to start is to just do it.

  3. I have the drive of a habitual writer, but not yet the discipline. I don't get mean when I haven't written though, I get crazy anti-social. I go deep into hermit-hibernation mode, crawl into my cave and refuse to do anything exciting or talk to anyone.

    It's... not the most productive coping technique. But it is what it is, I suppose.

  4. It's such a great release. I wish I'd known when I started how addictive it could be. =D

  5. It gets even harder the longer you are away from it. Butt in chair and babble, even if you trash everything tomorrow. Just the act of writing will get those juices flowing! Good luck breaking the cycle of stress.

  6. For me specifically, starting is hard because I have a baby! Did you write much during the first years of your kids' lives? I thought I could take a writing break through pregnancy and my daughter's infancy, but it's driving me crazy! I know how you feel.

  7. I think going back to writing after some time away is always nervewracking, no matter how much you need it. There's the fear of pressure and of opening the document and discovering it either sucks or you've forgotten how to write. And I get mad at life too, when there's no time to write. Currently I'm mad at my dogs for that reason, which sounds ridiculous, but it's true.

  8. Funny that you posted this now - I am in exactly the same position! TWO WEEKS!!! And I have family coming into town next week, so there goes that time... I'm starting to get the shakes.

    Also like you, I'm managing to talk myself out of my project's worth. I have to keep reminding myself that that's how it always goes, but that getting back into it will feel like coming home...

  9. I'm the same way. Also editing doesn't count. I totally need to actually write, but these revisions are distracting me. I can't wait to turn this draft into my editor and work on the sequel or something else.

    Good luck. Try a writing sprint to get back in the swing.

  10. I'm the same way. After I had my second child last year I couldn't find the time or energy to write for six months and I think my husband was seriously considering divorce by the time I finally cracked open my laptop and started writing again. Now we're back to happy times.

  11. I can get mean when life gets in the way of writing, too. It feels like someone lopped off a limb or something. Like a major part of you is missing and you can't find it. Frustrating.

    Something that works for me, to get back in the habit, is to write something that doesn't matter, that isn't connected to any of your projects. Or tell yourself before you write it that you're just going to delete it afterwards so it can be uber-crap-to-the-max and no one will ever know. When I do that, I usually end up NOT deleting it because it turns out way better than I expected.

    Good luck. *hugs*

  12. Genie of the Shell, I actually wrote MORE when I had babies! I used naptime with a vengeance. Now that my kids are older, they are actually more demanding on my time.

    Man, I miss naptime...

  13. heh, I just tweeted about this very thing.

    When life gets busy, and I can't carve out time to write, it makes me very tense. And cranky. :)

  14. I get comotose when I don't write. It's like I'm sifting through mud. Ugh. Having a blog has been really good for me because then I write every day, even though I'm not working on my book, and it doesn't have to be a work of art.

    So, I recommend you write a blog post and then... wait, you already did that. Good job!

  15. Just start with one word. Writing is like eating chips. Once you start you just can't stop, and before u know it you've eaten a whole bag (or written a chapter.) You can do it!

  16. I'm the same way if I don't write. I have a novel I'm working on that's one in a collection, and I have lots of background work to do before I can start actually writing. Even if I don't work on that, I get quite...irritable.

  17. I think it's sort of like skipping church if you're a regular. You feel super guilty the first time, but once you do and the world doesn't collapse, you try it again. And some more times. And pretty soon you realize it's easy to skip.

    So don't skip much longer - feeling guilty is good sometimes!

  18. I miss writing. I have been so consumed with caring for a newborn and then catching up on chores that I haven't done much :( I always plan on it and then baby decides to only do catnaps of like 15 or 20 minutes--enough time for me to wash the dishes or finish the laundry. Then I get back to the computer, open up the document and there he is, awake, crying and needy :P He's only a month old so it's still early on but still--I need to get back into it!

  19. First, I have to offer you a HUGE congrats!!! It would appear I have been hiding under a rock this month and I missed your big announcement. So thrilled for you :)

    I am a "need to" writer. If I take any length of time away from writing (or something related to writing), I turn into someone I rather wouldn't ;> Though I've had trouble writing during both pregnancies, I've found the newborn period the easiest--before they're mobile and I can NAK (nurse at keyboard).

    I've missed having some sort of consistency for the past six months. My oldest is starting half-day K next month, so I was hoping we'd be able to swing putting the youngest into day care a couple of mornings a week, but it's worked out even better... He drew the afternoon session, which means I'll have a few hours to write while my toddler naps. I'm counting the days!

  20. I know the feeling. Sometimes, when I'm about to start a project, I get a little scared, because things are so shiny and nice in my head, and I worry I wreck everything by putting it on paper. Then again, if I don't keep putting things on paper, the characters in my head kick up quite a fuss trying to get out. Scylla and Charybdis.