Writer’s “Block”January 8, 2015
So you can probably guess why I’m writing about this today. The little voice in my head had never stopped whispering that it was time to sit down and write, but today was going to be the day I got back on it. I sat down at my computer and looked at the latest Date Modified on my files and counted how long it had been since the most recent one.
16 days. Fuck me, I didn’t realize it’d been THAT long. The last post for this blog was 8 days ago, which isn’t bad considering I’d originally aimed for once a week or so. But 16 days without touching my books. Jebus. Only two of those days were days when it really would have been difficult to do any work.
Now that I only do formal work outside the house part-time, I think I’d taken for granted that sitting down and writing was easy to do — taken it so much for granted that I didn’t really push myself to do it. Before I quit my job to write books, I marked off the days I wrote on a calendar; I may go back to it, just so that the break never gets this long again.
But let’s be real, the reason the break happened at all was procrastination. Thorn has pointed out that procrastination on a writing project is usually a sign of feeling stuck or confused or not knowing what to do next. It doesn’t even have to be a big, hair-tearing frustration — it can just be a spot where the inspiration trickles or gutters instead of flows, or a part where you’re not totally pleased with what is coming out, even a part where you stop writing to go deal with some non-writing shit and have every intent of coming back later. In any case, you take a break, and then the “break” lasts hours or days before you know it.
Or weeks! Up until 16 days ago, I’d been been chugging away on the project I mentioned in my last post (the one I’m doing on the bet with Drum). I’ve written the first two acts, the ending, and an epilogue, but I kept balling up and throwing away scenes from Act 3. I have a plan for how Act 3 is supposed to go, but it doesn’t feel plausible anymore — it feels too quick and tidy, and yet adding to it or elaborating on it feels like I’m just tacking stuff on for the sake of it. So, while the voice in my head that says “time to write!” has not been any quieter, it’s been easier to rationalize ignoring it. Especially when I’m tired, or my fiance and I are having a pleasant time together at home, or I need to cook something to use up some stuff in the fridge, or…
I’m sick of doing that, though. 16 days is way, way too long. Today’s goal is to either fix something, or break it until it can be fixed.