Monday, March 07, 2011

At a Loss for Words....

I'm literally at a loss for words. They have deserted me. Every thing I write is a struggle. From a simple email to a Facebook status, I'm faced with a blank screen and a blank mind to go with it. I open a document and the words scatter like cockroaches when you turn on a light. Last week I had a WIP open and I couldn't come up with a single word to push the story forward.

It's not writer's block. With writer's block I can see where I want to go, I can see my plot, my scenes, my characters, I just struggle with how to get it altogether. This is different. I have lost my vision. Story lines and characters have always come easy for me. Execution not always so. But now my mind is completely vacant when it comes to telling a story.

Disheartening? Yes, a writer who can't writer is an unhappy puppy. But mostly I'm angry. I'm furious that this has happened, that I've allowed this to happen. Yes, I do blame myself to some extent. I took a break. That's fine, but I should have made myself go back sooner. Like anything else, creativity must be nourished, it cannot be left to linger. Anything worth having, feeling, doing must be tended. If it is left to neglect, it withers.

I don't believe this vacuum is permanent. I've taken long hiatuses before. The writing comes back but it is much tougher than it should be.

So, my writer friends, what do you suggest I do to jump start my words and get me writing again?


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Honestly? It's different for everyone and you'll need to find your own magic potion. One thing that works for many of us, though, is a rededication to the discipline of sitting down and writing. Give yourself permission to write garbage (that's how I often get my best stuff!). And then follow-up on that permission. Make yourself write daily -- even if it's garbage. Once you're back in the rhythm of daily writing, you'll find the quality improves.

Toni Anderson said...

I agree with writing daily, even garbage :)

Are you just mad with yourself and therefore can't write--like self flagellation? Or are you not interested in the stories you have going? Or something else? Good luck, Rene :)

LoryKC said...

I used to be quite good at playing the piano. I was even a music major for a semester, or two...
I practiced every damn day.
I used to be able to run 7 miles--all at once! I hate running but wanted to keep up with my husband, and then go a little further. ;) I ran every other day, with no exceptions.

I graduated from college with an english degree, with a concentration in writing. I wrote for classes and workshops--I wrote for peers and read their stuff--all the time.

Now? It takes a very long time to get back to where I can get through a piano piece that I used to play effortlessly. Now I run 7 miles, total, in a WEEK. My writing? Comes and goes, in spurts and almost no one sees it.
I went to a conference in October with a plan to show my writing and find writing partners. I found one but it still took me until January to send anything to her--and it stunk. But now? I'm reading her writing, I'm reading other people's writing and it makes me want to fix my writing and write better. You may need the pressure of a deadline or at least someone who is WAITING to read your writing and you know you have to come through.

(Send it to me! I'd love to read it!)