Writer’s block? Or not?

I might repeat myself a bit here. Or maybe I just need to let go of something. But… For a couple of days now, it has been really hard to write. And I have no idea, how I have managed to write as much as I have, for NaNoWroMo. Yesterday I was saved by the bell when I found some notes I had done earlier, which made me get going. But I had rather not written at all.

During the day I had been cleaning my apartment, and also moved my sofa to another spot in the room. Well! HA! ”Spot” and ”Moved”, are not exactly the right words for that. Area and Dragged, are better. The sofa is big and heavy.

As the evening got closer, I was watching ”Gotham” on Netflix, and at the same time, I was knitting a pair of mittens for my daughter. I’m going there for the upcoming weekend, and I want them to be finished so I can give them to her, along with a scarf and a cap, all of them knitted in the same yarn, warm and wholly. I also had in mind to knit a cap for the grandson. I finished the mittens and began with the cap, so now I just hope I’ll finish that one as well on Thursday at the latest.

What all this bla-bla is the replacement for, is a confession that I at that time, had forgotten all about writing! Then suddenly I realized it was already 8 PM, and OOOPS! I have to write at least something! Please! At least a couple of hundred words!

My mind was blank. Totally empty and black. I stared at Scrivener’s pale yellow background. It stared back at me. Nothing here. Nothing there. Nothing anywhere. I sought it here. I sought it there. I sought it everywhere. Oh, that elusive Pimpernel…

No, I didn’t! Seek everywhere. But I looked among those notes and mini-drafts I have in a file. It helped! I wrote! But probably the lousiest text I have ever written. Don’t think I can keep any of it.
But I wrote!

No! I didn’t. I heaped loads of words upon each other! That’s what I did! And I don’t even have a clue what I’ve written! So to speak.

Adding words to words that way isn’t my normal way of writing. As long as it goes, it might go very well. After all, in total, I have written a lot of good stuff as well. But now when I begin to feel stressed about having to perform, to achieve, to produce! To add a lot of words just to get a huge amount of words during a fixed timeline – it’s about becoming a disaster! At least if I had wanted to create a draft to a novel.

Before the Burn-out, I wrote a lot. I wrote daily. But I never felt the need to perform a certain amount of words every day. I don’t complain now, it’s just facts! And I knew what I signed up for. 50.000 words in 30 days.

Why I did it? I have said it before – I wanted to train myself to write daily, again. To write a lot, again. And I didn’t commit to writing a draft to a novel, not necessarily. So also blogposts count, here and on my Swedish blog. Mails can be counted in, I just don’t write many mails. Text messages can be counted in if I consider it writing and not just a short something to someone. And of course personal dairy notes, which can be quite wordy.

Looking upon it that way, I have done very well. Beyond 40.000 words now (yesterday) for the NaNoWriMo. And for myself.

So why am I complaining about this! Because I realize I am! Do I have any actual reason to complain? Actually – no. In the beginning, I had no idea for a fantasy novel. I thought I wouldn’t write any fiction at all! And yet – I have written quite a lot, to later be included in a Fantasy Novel. Almost two-thirds of those 40.000+ words are scenes to be incorporated.

And the funny thing is – odd-funny not haha-funny – I realize I’m building a world, where all my fantasy writings and its characters this year can be gathered together. Not necessarily that all those people are going to meet, to connect, or counteract – but they live in the same world.

Thinking about it like that, I don’t have to feel miserable just because I cannot write for a couple of days – and still, I write!
I just need a day off, or two. Or to allow me to sometimes just write one puny scene. Maybe only 758 words or so.

What this NaNoWriMo has shown me so far, is that I’m capable of so much more. Who on earth thought I would write 3283 words in just a few hours! I didn’t. But! I can! I’m able to write even a lot more than that.

I just have to let go of that behavior to stress myself into any oveer achievement. Instead, keep the joy of creating a story, and don’t think the world will fall apart if there is a day once in a while when I rather want to read a book, watch a movie, knit a cardigan, sit in the sunshine a lovely day in May, bike to the sea-side – or do anything else but write.

I just have to make sure, most of my days are writing days.

I’ll be away from home for a couple of days only. I thought I’ll bring my laptop, but I will hardly be sitting for hours to write when I visit my daughter and her family. That would not only be rude. It would be awful to waste precious time with those I love, not totally being with them.

Maybe I should leave the laptop at home, after all. It weighs more than the iPad, and I’ll go by train. And will only be gone for four days.

8 thoughts on “Writer’s block? Or not?

  1. I wouldn’t worry too much about it, Thea. I think what I learned after my first two NaNo’s is that writing and stories have a creative rhythm that doesn’t always fit into so many words in so many days. We aren’t counting widgets, we’re creating, and that will look different every day depending what’s happening inside us and inside the story. Enjoy the process, my friend.

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    1. Thank you, Diana, for your input.
      I don’t think I’m worrying. Not per se. But this way of writing, blurb out a lot of words and then the next day blurb out a lot of new words, just to get lots and lots of words, is so different from how I wrote in the past. Even if I don’t consider the NaNo, and its effect on stressing me – which it actually isn’t. I’m the one that stresses me, when aiming for winning. I could quit this very minute if I wanted to. But I don’t. I’ll go all the way!

      What bugs me, is that I’ve lost contact with my story, my world. I used to remember the plot, the characters, everything! If not every exact word. And it’s the same with the Solar Eclipse. CampNaNoWriMo-projects. But not the Mechanical Man! That one was written in May, to your prompt then, and I still have control over that story. But writing that one, didn’t stress me, trying to write as many words as possible in a limited timeframe

      And now! I write a lot. It’s amazing. And there are many many good scenes, well written scenes – I can see that. But I forget from one day to another what I’ve written!
      It will be an enormous work later, to edit this story into a full, readable story.

      I want to integrate the way I’m writing now, letting the inspiration flush over me, with my old way of writing, having constant contact with the characters, the story and what is happening.
      And right now, I’m not quite sure how to do that.

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      1. I can relate to every word you said, Thea. Normally, I’m a slow slow writer, a bit of rewriting and editing as I go. So when I try to just “vomit” words, there are times when I feel off or disconnected. Usually, I’d fix a scene before moving forward. I’d make it mine, make it work, make it feel “true” to the story. But with NaNo, it leave it and keep going. That leaves lots of work to do later! Once NaNo is done, I’ll go back to the beginning and let the story tell itself at my snail’s pace. I think pushing out words is good practice and does get the bones of a story down, but for me, it’s not a natural way to write. 😀 ❤ Fortunately, I like editing. Ha ha.

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      2. EXACTLY! That’s how I normally work too!
        And now I have SO much editing to do. Something like 85.000 words written about that world. So far.
        Have to find a name for that world soon.

        But it’s really good to know I can vomit loads of words as well.

        I realized earlier today, that I paused because I came to the end of part one, and from now on it’s all about part two, about Eliza.
        Everything has its meaning!
        ❤️

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  2. I’m guilty of already quitting NaNoWriMo ☺️, but I’ve been writing without keeping count on a novel. The pressure got to me 😆! I think you’re doing really well, maybe it was good to take a brief day off? I edit while writing too, so it’s a slow pace and I re-edit several more times.

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