I’ve tried to write every day for the past week but I’m completely empty. Blocked. Nada. Caput. How do I move on when writer’s block strikes?
Not just this blog post, but also my second novel for which I just received the developmental edit letter from the world’s best Dev-Editor (no I will not be naming names, you can’t have her!!). I have 7 weeks to finish the rewrite if I’m going to keep on schedule, and I’m not sure if that’s going to be realistic now. Honestly, I’m hoping that this exercise of just writing my thoughts, unfiltered, without a clear goal or message will help me. So, thanks for coming on this ride. Maybe it will be cathartic for anyone who can sympathize. Or maybe it just feels self-indulgent, either way, here we are.
Why have I been blocked? I think that I’ve been overwhelmed recently. I know, 2+ years into the modern plague and NOW I’m overwhelmed? But yes, now. Depression and anxiety don’t come on anyone’s schedule, they show up when they show up.
So. what’s been going on in my life that’s so stressful? I don’t know – which is the most stressful part!!
My day job has gotten hectic since we’ve lost 2 members of our (originally) 5 member team, so picking up all the work is stressful. But my boss is great and the people I work with are great, so I’m not really under any serious pressure. Deadlines are getting moved and projects are being delayed so we can actually focus on what needs to be done now. I’ve been dealing with a real jack-ass on the other side of a particular matter (I’m an attorney and I probably don’t have to tell you that some attorneys are a$$h013s), but again, my boss is supportive and has been helping me deal with this guy.
At home, things are pretty great too. My husband’s job is good, my son is doing well in school, summer is on its way, and we have some fun camp and vacation plans right around the corner. It’s all good from the outside.
So, what the hell is wrong with me!?
(Side note – did you know that the ‘!?’, ‘?!’, or ‘?!?’ is a real, grammatically correct – though little used – punctuation? It’s called an Interrobang and there was once a movement to make the new mark, which combined the two for ‘inquisitive exclamation’ or rhetorical question, into a standard symbol. Modern typewriters never adopted the mark to a specific key, but it is included in several of the most used fonts in digital computing.)
My writing has always been an outlet for me to express silly, funny thoughts when in my everyday life I have to deal with stressful and serious things. My inner irreverent personality gets to come out when I’m writing. But I don’t feel much like making merry right now. I’m feeling like the world is too big, the problems are too extreme, and I can’t do anything to help anyone. I alternatively want to quit my job and take up the causes of injustice, protest for liberty and women’s rights (if you hadn’t already guessed my political and personal leaning from the past couple month’s of posts, I’m kind of a nutjob liberal) but also I want to eat ice cream and hide under the covers.
Writing, no matter the genre, is an artistic expression, one that needs nurture, space, and support to come to fruition. In my case, it also takes a mostly clear head. In fact, I think I started writing specifically to stop the constant internal monologue. When I write, I’m completely engrossed in the story and the characters. Whatever else is going on usually falls away and the storm quiets. All the lists of things that need doing and the unread emails slip away for a while. I get to play in my own little world and it’s lovely.
But recently the thoughts aren’t quieting. The unread emails continue to make alerts on my phone demanding attention, and the world of fiction isn’t asserting itself.
Well, for now, that’s all I’ve got, because as we’ve previously discussed, I’m blocked. I’d love to hear from other writers in the comments how you deal with (or not) writer’s block. Also, commiserating is allowed. Sometimes it’s nice just to be heard.
I will leave you with one thing, something for which I’ve very excited. While the words of the book are really leaving me in a quandary, I’ve been working with an illustrator on the cover of my second novel. I’m in love with the feel so far and I’ve got some small snippets to share.
My first novel is also available now, wherever books are sold:
I’d love to connect with you! Come find me in all the usual places: