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.