Writer’s block is not the question posed by the Insecure Writers Support Group this month.
The suggested question is:
What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?
Please follow them and make them feel it’s all worth while!
My writer’s block
I realised the other day that ideas for flash fiction have been few and far between for most of this year. I have stirred myself to produce some ‘specials’. I’ve even worked hard on them, and they’ve mostly been well received – several ‘reached the shortlist’, in fact. I should be feeling encouraged. But I’m not.
It could be that I’m doing too much.
- Writing the last two Princelings books: I have reached the stage where I think I need to write the last one then go back and make sure all the developments that need to go in book 9 are there. That’s a bit complicated, and I need time to think about these things. I need time to concentrate on writing.
- Revising Curved Space to Corsair: I have developed a positive outcome from my editor’s notes, and I’ve mentally rewritten the start. I just haven’t had time to physically write it.
Why do I have time to read the books for blogged book reviews, and to write blog posts, but I haven’t got time to devote to revising my book? Well it could be that time comes in short spurts, and there are timetables to keep to.
Why haven’t I time? I’m busy doing other things, of course… things in the real world with real people, instead of online. Most of the time I prefer doing online things, but then you know I’m an introvert.
Who puts me under these pressures?
I do, of course. Nobody cares much whether I’m producing flash fiction, revising my books or finishing the Princelings series except me. The timetable is my own. I can change it.
Is my writer’s block seasonal?
It’s a funny thing, but this occurred to me as I realised it was the September IWSG post. A few years back I wrote about my depression, and things that set me off. I’ve been working hard at not letting myself be set off into depression by these writer’s block factors. It’s all pressure I heap on myself.
Does it build up at the end of each summer simply because it’s the end of summer? Back to school? Only a few months till Christmas, and then the start of a new year and what have I got to show for it?
I think the answer to all those is ‘yes’ and then, when I really think of it, I have to admit that all these pressures are entirely self-inflicted. It is only me who has these expectations of myself.
There. I’ve admitted it. I can stop. I can allow myself not to write things. I can even stop posting blog posts unless I really want to.
Let’s see how I manage that.
Do you suffer from seasonal writer’s block, and is yours all self-inflicted? Tell all!
Aretha Louise Franklin (1942 –2018) the unforgettable American singer, songwriter, and pianist who was known as the Queen of Soul, gives us some important words to reflect on this week: “Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.”
11 thoughts on “#IWSG | Is writer’s block seasonal?”
I sympathize with the struggle to handle self-imposed goals. You have a lot on your writing plate right now, and I think I would have to slow down and deal with one book at a time! Of course I’m a fine one to talk since I haven’t written but about 3 pieces of flash in months.
I think half the trouble is I set my writing goals without any attention to my life activities. I’m under a lot of pressure outside the house at present, and I wonder how writers with families ever have the time and lack of stress to write!
I haven’t had seasonal writer’s block, but I can see that happening. But now that you’re aware of it, you can do things to prevent it (like being kind to yourself about getting things done.)
I’m not sure that my ongoing problem is seasonal writer’s block, more like a form of burnout or boredom. My writing comes in fits and starts, so I abandon writing when I get distracted by other things or lose interest in a project. Maybe that is why I have so many unfinished stories.
I think a lot of us who have been going some time are suffering from burnout. Some stopped blogging to give writing a chance. Even Chuck Wendig wrote a blog post on why sometimes you should stop writing – he’s always previously advocated ‘finish it!’
He uses bad language, btw… http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2018/09/04/sometimes-its-okay-to-quit-writing-the-thing-youre-writing/
Chuck Wendig’s post is well worth reading (and I’ve heard worse at work). So, I can see that ‘temporary’ stops can be good IF I return to my writing one day. Thanks, Jemima.
Happy Be-lated IWSG Day!
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog.
I too have the same issue. I make time for all sorts of things but fail to finish the rewrite I’ve been working on for almost six months now. Who knows how long it’ll take. I’ve decided not to let it be a burden. It’ll be done when it’s done. Until then, I keep working on other things.
You are right. You can write or not, blog or not, and read as much as you want. Take care of you.
Thanks, Toi 🙂
I definitely could see Writer’s Block being seasonal. Our bodies have natural rhythms that change with the season (for whatever the reason), it only makes sense that creativity could be affected as well. I don’t usually get writer’s block per se, but my mood and productivity definitely goes through cycles throughout the calendar.
Self-inflicted writer’s block – I strangely like the sound of that phrase. Sometimes it’s liberating to recognize when we have control of our own timetable and are choosing other things. That happened to me last month until I carved out some time and just sat in front of my WIP. Suddenly, the muse lit up and I was able to finish the revision pass.
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