Writing...is hard. These past few weeks have been a struggle. I vacillate wildly between...this is a great memoir/novel and you published one book, give up already! P.S. this is carp!*
Yep, it's a writing slump. Nothing really helps in these. You just have to wait them out. I know people who force it, but for me that doesn't work. It's like "junk miles" in running--you might feel better momentarily, but it doesn't advance your training. You just end up with a bunch of stuff to delete. Your process may be different, but what I have to do is just leave it. I occasionally peek at the pages now and again, and tinker a little, but if it's not working, it will be someday again. I know this.
My whole life isn't about writing, and although I have set a goal (completed manuscript by the date of the last book's publication), I know that I will go through times like these. I do with everything--work, running, life in general. It will pass.
What I don't do:
- Whine to others. Nobody really wants to hear your misery.
- Freak the carp* out. Because that isn't helpful.
- Think defeating thoughts. Because you really aren't as fat/slow/old/untalented as you think you are in a slump.
What I do:
- Get outside. Being outside makes me happy, and sometimes breaks up the slump.
- Simmer. When I can't sleep, I ponder the memoir. Last night, a sentence randomly appeared: "My husband and I were strangers when we married." I can work with that.
- Cultivate other interests. If I can't write, that leaves time for other things.
So while I don't welcome the slump, it is like an old acquaintance lurking by my side. It'll find someone else to bother sooner or later.
*Deliberate misspelling for the enjoyment of it.