Wheels on the bus … grind to a halt

So ….

Has anyone else ever hit a stagnation point?

Seriously, I am not sure what else to call it.  It's not really writer's block, as I have ideas and ways forward on how to implement them.  It's not really a lack of desire; I look at this stack of stuff I want to finish, for no other reason that I really enjoy writing and want to do it.  It's not even a lack of time.  I've been a job as stressful as the one I am in now (less hours at work then but I have no at home work or chores to do now) and still found time to squeeze in ten or twenty hours of writing in a week.  But right now, no matter what I try to do, I am having a seriously hard time of it.  Even my blog post count and submission rates have really suffered.  And on top of that, what I do write is so pathetic I feel like I have actually regressed.  I re-read my last blog post before this one and did nothing except wince.

So what the hell happened to me?

Well, I can say that for one thing, it feels a bit like exercise.  If you are running five days a week, it's not hard to maintain a certain level of performance.  Stop running for six months, put on twenty pounds, then try to pick up where you left off.  It's hard – too hard, in fact, unless you start slow.  I'm kind of there, as I have not done any real serious writing in almost two months.  So getting started is harder.

Also, I recognize that my free time is coming in more numerous but smaller chunks right now.  Per the exercise example above, unless I am writing all the time, it is hard for me to veer back into that mindset quickly for a short period, unless I am doing it more often.  I have been writing a non-speculative fiction book (a first for me), but it is more journal-style, where the entries are shorter.  Trying to pick back up on Pilgrimage has been tough, even though I have completely re-read the entire thing since I have been here.  I should be painfully aching to continue and instead it's just a minor cramp.

Frustration is certainly a big part of it, too.  It's that self-fulfilling prophecy thing:  you expect to do poorly, then do, prophecy fulfilled, and set the expectations next time even lower.  Ad nauseum.

Is this just a wangst session?  (Wangst is a great portmanteau.)  Am I looking for solutions?  Do I just need to buck up, quit crying and be a man?

(Muse:  Yes.)

I'll get myself sorted out.  Until then, just bear with my scattershot posting and ridiculously low production.  Who knows, I might come out of the other side of this with some great stories.  Or I might come out curled in a fetal position, while my ego says, "You worm.  I'm outta here."  Either way, it should be fun for you casual viewers.

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One thought on “Wheels on the bus … grind to a halt

  1. Has anyone else ever hit a stagnation point?

    Yes, although in my case it probably fit into a lot of the qualifiers you ruled out in the next paragraph. Most likely, I was socked with depression and needed to address parts of my life that were draining me dry… so I could then build up the basis of total-life confidence necessary to produce something without thinking it was the next step toward writerly oblivion. (The regression you mentioned.) I’m still working on it.

    If fixed, consistent writing time is your old normal, then I’d agree that getting away from that is probably the reason, or at least contributing. I’ve never had that, so it’s less the case. I can still go without writing for months and then binge for a few days and it’s okay. And I’m learning that forcing it is not the way to go for me. If writing badly is what drags me down, then I don’t… I wait for the right idea and the right head-space to start from, and that gives me enough of a boost that I can power through the rest with a lot less loathing and hand-wringing.

    Sayeth the wangst queen.

    Like

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