Duck and Cover

This week has been all about avoidance for me.   I’ve been in a slump.  I haven’t written anything – I’m blocked.  I haven’t exercised – I feel lazy.  I haven’t been in the pool – I got too much sun last week.  I haven’t really gone outside – It’s too hot.  I haven’t cooked a decent meal – I need to shop for groceries.  The list goes on and on, as do the lame excuses…

Writer’s block tends to affect every aspect of my life, causing me to feel a bit outside of myself.  I just haven’t been able to harness my normal motivation.  The murder board hanging in my office stares back at me, even now, waiting for me to decide who lives and who dies with the swipe of my red dry erase marker, but I simply sigh in its direction.  The residents of my Wilde County can all sleep sound in their beds tonight…

I’ve decided not to beat myself up too much about it…clearly, I need a recharge.  As it is with most creative people, my mind is usually racing in a thousand different directions.  That, coupled with the fact that I am, by nature, a pretty tightly wound spring, means that, inevitably, I will come unwound and flop around loosely from time to time.

For me when these moods take over, my basic way of dealing with it is to ride it out.  When I was younger I used to worry that it would never go away, that perhaps I was knocking on the door of depression.  I would sit in front of my computer and will myself to do better – the result of which, more often than not, resembled something akin to Picasso puking on canvas.

I have learned that the forced word never flows.  So I give it time.  I let my “little grey cells” rest up.  It will come – it always does.  During these down times, I like to picture my characters going about their daily lives uninterrupted by murder and mayhem.  What are they doing?  Where do they go?  Are they sneaking and plotting behind the scenes?  Do they go on holiday?  What do they watch on television?  What do they buy at the store?  Do they like to sleep late and snuggle in bed?  Do they rise early and jog through the neighborhood?  Questions, questions…

I have come to appreciate these rare quiet times of the mind…I feel that it gives my characters room to grow…and when they are ready – really ready – they will spring back into action and give me something magical…

So how do you handle writer’s block?  Do you power through, or duck and cover?

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2 thoughts on “Duck and Cover

  1. Fenella says:

    I try to set a schedule and stick to it. My reasoning is that if I want to be a professional writer, I better write even if I don’t feel like it. Some times it is junk I delete the next day, some times it is okay and can be rewritten.

    Bur failing that I have a list of 5 “cheats” I do instead if I can’t write.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. chasingagatha says:

    I totally agree with you. I think part of my recent slow down has been because summer is in full swing. Every day, I take my daughter to school, get home, grab my coffee and head to work writing. ..I also love a quite house, lol, not happening in the summer! But I’m springing back, I’ve found a bit of inspiration and just have to reset my schedule and adapt. I know it will work itself out, but you are right, schedule is key, not just for the act of actually writing, but for the process for each individual from where their inspiration springs.

    Like

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