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.

3 comments:

Col said...

Keep calm and carry on. The writing will be back soon

Peter Burnett said...

... and the writing is back already! Writing about 'block' perhaps proves that getting stuck is all about receptivity and awareness. the world is full of germinal ideas, but fatigue can cause a feeling of being 'idea-less'. When you drive yourself too hard, the subconscious rebels and says 'no'. Then it's time to take a walk, or a cycle, and generally everything will be all right again. Another cause is the wrong kind of people being around. Mostly, the plane of social intercourse is not the plane of creation, and it's difficult to be receptive to your own unconscious in a group of people, sometimes even with one person. Keep your invisible antennae sharp ;)

Moira said...

thanks Peter, I am finding that running is helping and I am now keeping a Bloc diary which is kind of ironic.