There are several names for this: writer’s block, writing burnout, writing apathy, la la la. It may even try to disguise itself as something else: depression, laziness, run-down on the verge of a cold somethin’, blegh…
It doesn’t matter what label you slap on it; the truth is that for whatever reason, the writing is not happening. Here is where I find myself, despite my best efforts to wrench myself out of this funk over the past week. Having completed my latest novel a week ago, I am now ready to begin the sequel. Except I’m not. The muse is either on strike, sleeping after all that work, or has been kidnapped by smurfs. I have not received a ransom.
I tried forcing it. Sunday I sat down and spent the entire day intermittently typing and staring at the wall. The result was a first chapter, but a short and superficial one at that. But hey, getting over the first hump is the hardest, right? So what’s my problem?
Maybe I need to take a break from writing. I know, I cringe at the thought. Waste all this valuable time? Are you crazy? I’m crazy if I think I can compose anything in my zombie-like state. I need to recharge, as Trish Elliott’s post Dealing with Writer Burnout suggests. I’ve relied on writing for so long as my way to stay charged and refreshed, that I forgot the cycle goes both ways. Writing may be how I “fill my cup,” as Elena Aitken talks about, but how do I fill my writing?
Good question. I thought maybe I’d take some time for drawing (and try really hard not to feel guilty about it). Maybe I should dig out a TV series with great writing and just sit back and enjoy, like The West Wing or Castle (and again, try really hard not to feel like I’m wasting precious time). Maybe I’ll see if some friends want to go ballroom dancing.
Whatever I do, I hope I feel recharged soon. While I strongly dislike this phase, one can’t ride the high forever, and even the muse needs a respite.