Wednesday, November 7, 2012

IWSG: Writing books is hard to do.

I am finally back for the Insecure Writers' Support Group. And I've got a heck of an insecurity to write about today.

I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year because I needed a real kick in the pants to get back into the writing groove again after months of writer's block. I think on some level I thought of "writer's block", even when it's caused by stressful life issues, as something that would eventually just go away and then I would be back to normal. I'm beginning to realize that it's not that simple. It seems writer's block is not necessarily like a cold, where all you have to do is weather it for a few days with the help of some sudafed and then it goes away by its self and you get on with your life again. My experience of trying to break free of writer's block is more like... Well, something that is the opposite of the above cold analogy. I said I've had writer's block, ok?

The truth is that since the beginning of November I put in almost 2000 words on one story, then decided I couldn't possibly speed write that story so I decided to start a completely different story. On story number two I have put down a little over 1000 words but now I'm beginning to think that I can't write this story because when I think about the story there is no story in my mind. So maybe I should look for a different story to write. And here's the thing... Every single one of those 3000+ words I've had to sweat and struggle over. I'm beginning to wonder what I was thinking when I signed up for NaNo. It must have been a moment of insanity because there's no way I can write 50,000 words in one month like this.

Yesterday I sat back and tried to mentally deal with the fact that at the moment, writing anything is extremely difficult for me. The words just don't come the way they used to. The stories that used to fill my mind are no longer detailed and alive. Every word I write feels like dead weight. And I feel so jealous of all the writers out there blogging about their latest writing accomplishments, of all the manuscripts they've completed and all the amazing ideas they have. I want writing to be easier again.

But it's not going to be. I know that I'm going to have to fight to get that back again. Writer's block isn't just going to go away and leave me where it found me. It's going to be a battle of wills every single day just to get some words set down, just to make some progress. I can't give in, no matter how much a part of me wants to just throw my hands up and declare that this was all a mistake and I just can't do it, can't be a writer. Because, as my wonderful husband assured me yesterday, my stories are something worth fighting for. They are important. And victory will come with dedication and perseverance and a ton of effort. Someday I'll feel like a writer again.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Yet Another NaNo Post

This is going to be a quick one (though not nearly as quick as last time) to proclaim:

Woah, I am doing NaNoWriMo this year.

This will be my first time. (Be gentle with me, NaNo.) I have to admit that I always thought NaNo was kind of gimmicky and viewed that as a bad thing. But as I grow older and wiser I begin to realize that a gimmick isn't necessarily bad. Our brains are curious machines and sometimes we need to trick them into giving us the results we want. For me, I've had such a long bout of writer's block due to life issues that I finally decided I needed a gimmick to try and get myself back on track. I need to trick my brain into remembering that I'm a writer. NaNo seems like a great opportunity to try that.

So I've spent some time the past few weeks trying to get ready. I worked on getting most of my resource notes into a single notebook for ease of use. Then my son spilled chocolate milk all over that notebook so I'm currently working on another notebook that will be better protected. I've been working out what my overall story arc will be as I write this month and I think I'm satisfied with what I've decided to go for. Unfortunately, I realized this morning that there's a crucial area of research that I totally forgot to complete. I'll probably just have to play catch up with that while I progress through the month.

Il Sigh.

Anyway, wish me luck. I'm going to need it.