So, I’m already behind for NaNoWriMo. It’s not a surprise. I didn’t have a project that I was itching to dig into when the whole thing started, and now I’m setting aside some of the things that I’d actually prefer to be working on in order to keep pushing on the Nano project. it isn’t something I’d normally do, but for me Nanowrimo is about discipline, and so I’m focusing on keeping committed to this one project. Even though I don’t know where it’s going or how it’s going to get there.
Anyway, I’m already behind on it. A few days behind. Which isn’t terrible, but it is a little bit frustrating. Mostly because I don’t have a good excuse. I’ve got plenty of time right now. I should be tearing through any project, even one I’m not overly excited about, but I’m allowing myself to get distracted. I’m allowing myself to concentrate on silly things.
Just before this all started a friend asked me if I was doing nano this year. I told her I was. She said she wasn’t sure if she was going to do it. She didn’t have anything she was excited to work on. I told her, give it a shot anyway. Really, what’s the worst that can happen? Say you pick a project, write a chapter, then find yourself completely stuck. So what? You’ve got a chapter you didn’t have before. I mean, you could allow it to get you down, allow yourself to get frustrated and resentful and angry, but when is that not a possibility?
Move forward, press on, take another step on your journey. even if you fall on your face, hey, you’re a step closer than you were yesterday, and you had to take that step at some point, didn’t you?
I’ve hit a writing slump. Woah, it has been a long time since I’ve really had to deal with one of these. I mean, sure, I’ve hit a few rough patches, but this one is a bit more serious. I haven’t done any serious writing in about a week.
I think that writer’s block is unavoidable when you are a novice or intermediary writer, but I also believe that it’s something you can train yourself out of, eventually. Honestly, I was beginning to hope that I had trained myself out of it. Some writers I know believe that writing is a little like breathing, in that you have to have time periods where you’re only taking oxygen or ideas in, in order to have periods where you’re pumping work out. I don’t think that’s the issue. I still have ideas. I have plenty of ideas, but whenever I try to put them down I feel like man with numb hands trying to juggle chainsaws.
In times like these, I don’t usually focus on my big projects. Those are too important to stumble through when I’m like this. Instead I search for some idea, some thought that holds even the faintest bit of appeal and start working through that. What I produce usually isn’t any good, but I save the stories anyway to go back through later, to see if I put anything out that actually resonates with me when I’m in a writing frame of mind.
Also, as I’ve said before and will undoubtedly say again, the better you do pushing through these things when it’s hard, the longer you’ll be able to go, and the more pleased you’ll be with the results, when the writing becomes easy again.
Still, it sucks. Hitting a slump is miserable, and the only things that really make it better are knowing that you’ve gotten through them before, and knowing that other people have suffered from them and got through as well.