From the awesomely depressing 3eanuts.
It’s not writer’s block, exactly. It’s more like, writer’s discouragement. Writer’s ‘what’s the point’? In short, my recent illness and the return of Rain from the Tessa Duder awards has put me into a funk. I am not sure how to pull myself out of it and it’s making me pretty sad.
My usual way of getting myself back on track is a bit of free writing. I did try that last week, but I was again overwhelmed by a ‘what’s the point?’ wave of ennui. I haven’t tried this again since. This week I have decided to give myself a real break from fiction. I got angry with feeling this way last week and made a list of all of my short stories and what I think needs changing in them. This made me feel better for about a day, since I had a plan. Plans are good. We like plans. But the next day when I pictured up the list the thought of going into any single one of those stories made me feel like a failure before I’d even read them again. The plan didn’t work and now I feel guilty when I see the list.
On Monday morning I got out my journal/personal diary and tried to express everything I was feeling. Although it felt good for a while I think it just cemented how sad this is making me, so I won’t do that again in a hurry.
On Tuesday I got up and went for a run instead of sitting still, not writing. It was a good thing to do. Running was easier than I thought it would be, given it’s been three weeks or so since my last run. I went 1.59km around the water front and felt good afterwards. Today I am muscle sore, but that’s just the penalty for not-running.
This morning I realised I have to change my thinking, so I picked up the book How to Be Rich and Happy and worked through a few exercises. I wrote goals down in my journal and thought about small steps I can take to make the goals reality. I think this was a good thing to do, too, but I still feel very sad.
Perhaps the sadness isn’t about not writing? Perhaps it’s a reaction to all the horrible things that have been happening, like the Christchurch quake and the Japan quake + tsumani. It could be. I get overwhelmed by things like that. Maybe it’s just because summer is ending and I love summer the most out of all the times of year? Maybe it’s all of the above?
Tomorrow I will go for another run. On Friday I’ll do more Rich and Happy exercises and see if I can get myself back on track. I don’t know what else to do except take the pressure off myself and hope it gets better.
(Actually what I really need is those NZT pills from Limitless. Can anyone hook me up?)