Monday, 23 July 2012

When the wall goes up

I used to be one of those writers who believed writers' block was a myth. How was it possible to not have the urge to write. I walk out in the morning and even though it is raining there is still a bird on the wire willing to sing for me. There might be a plane flying overhead for me to wonder about. There are always face book posts to make me smile, rage or sigh. Inspiration is everywhere. But I am in a period of being unable to write or at least unable to write what I should be writing - my new novel, that article I should have finished, the letter to send out with another article.

The block came during the period of high activity around my debut novel publication. I was appearing in festivals, in book stores, in libraries. The publicity was going well, articles and reviews were being published. I was at last a published author and was enjoying all that went with that.

I admit, I was already struggling to write my new novel while trying to work on the debut's publicity. Every event I went to people would ask what I was working on. Most days I would sit at my the desk and pluck each word out with a tweezer. But I have always said one word in front of another eventually leads to a chapter so I kept at it.

Then two major change events happened in my life and it all stopped - the publicity and the writing. It was the first time it had happened to me and I was worried.

I wrote my list of things I should work on each day. A list always works, except this time it didn't.

I laid out piles of work on the table as a reminder of where my focus should be. That normally works. Nope. I walked away from it and tried to ignore the fact that the pile needed dusting.

 I read inspirational writing works like Brenda Ueland's If You Want to Write. Very interesting but it made me feel worse.

Then I went to Weegie Wednesday, the monthly networking event held in Glasgow on the third Wednesday of the month and I asked the advice of other writers. They all said the same; 'Leave it, it will come back.' 'Don't force it, it will come back.' 'Do you have a deadline, no? Then what are you worried about?' 'Put it aside and do something else, it will come back.'

So I have scrubbed out my list and I am taking their advice. I will read well and concentrate on other things that matter in my life. I have to trust my friends and fellow writers and wait for the day when 'it will come back'. I just hope it doesn't take too long.