Friday, January 2, 2015

Frustrations and Blown Days

So it's not all good news. Being a writer, whether full- or part-time, definitely has it's ups and downs. Inevitably you get Those Days, ones during which it's hard or even impossible to make headway, to write.

Today was and is one of Those Days. I figured I'd try to write about what its like, and do it while I'm still immersed in the frustration.

Why can't I write today? Well, there are lots of reasons, but none of them are really things that have to keep me from doing it. But here are some of them:

  • I've got a headache.
  • The kids are around, being loud, fighting, being distracting.
  • I'm not feeling good about myself in general.
  • I had other, paying, legal writing to do today, and it burned up a lot of my energy.
  • My wife has to go in for a medical procedure tomorrow morning, and we have to leave very early.
  • And it's late now ... I just sat down to write at 10 pm or so, which is kind of late to begin.
  • My novel's at a critical scene, and I *really* want the scene and the writing to be GOOD; it is "of consequence.
  • Etc.

I don't know ... I could probably come up with at least five more. Suffice it to say, I felt like I lost the battle tonight. I sat down, re-read the last part of my chapter, said to myself, "Okay, it'll need revision eventually, but it's going well," and then ...

I decided to pack it in (yes, this is me packing it in, I guess!). Have to get up @ 6 am tomorrow, and it's 11:20 pm. I just don't have it in me to get started now. Not even a paragraph or two. I'm going to just read a book for 15-20 minutes until I'm ready to sleep.

No big deal, you think? It shouldn't be, but then these thoughts start creeping in: What if I die before I finish my story? What if I keep putting the writing off, and then I'm old and it's too late to become a Real Writer? What if I forget what I was going to write? What if people read or see that I didn't get serious writing done ... won't they judge me?

And it's noise, noise, noise ... the brain won't quiet.

I haven't got an answer for this battle yet. I think I'm telling myself that I don't have much choice tonight - I need to be awake to take care of what I have to take care of in the morning, and I am just too tired and headache-y now. I have begun mulling how to pull this scene off in my head, so maybe it needs to gestate for a while before I start getting it down on "paper." I don't know, but I have been doing this long enough to know I will feel good about my writing again, soon. I don't know how well or when this book will come together and be Ready for Public Consumption, but I'm determined to not give up.

So I'm shutting it down this time. The battle ended the way it did, and will be joined anew again tomorrow. I will beat the obstacles and ride the joy again. But for now, I sleep, and my mind recharges (I hope).

How do you handle these situations, my fellow authors and humans?

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