Writing Wednesday

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?)

9 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday

  1. Jenni you wrote a larp all by yourself…thats awesome! You will get over the funk, its just a dip in the road. You are too good a writer to let it get you down too much.

  2. FWIW I am enjoying Rain, as I knew I would, despite it no being one of my genres of choice… I like the way you write and I know other smart people who do too…

    I think, though I’m no expert even on my own psyche, that the secret might be learning to enjoy the trip. I don’t think you ever arrive. I don’t think, even when you’re published, that you’ll think “Hey, I’ve accomplished what I set out to do” for more than a second anyway… in my experience the triumphs are pretty transitory, even if you make an effort to note and celebrate them as I’m trying to do. The joy is in the next challenge. So this is the next challenge. How to pull through this slump and make it mean something. Write some words this week, any words… do one of your short story exercises, and mark that off as an achievement! Write better because you experience sadness, frustration, discouragement. Write like a human!

    Ruth reminded me today that it’s okay that I’m imperfect; fallible. Same is true for you! ❤

    [If you want… Place: a pebbly bay, colour: orange, person: an elderly woman with a poodle]

  3. The beach was not a sandy beach. It was pebbly. An old lady who smelt of lavender abs Wasserstein. Secretly a lady shoh had got AawY with killing her husband when she was younger but was bow sad. Her dog was a poodle which I forgot to mentionearlier. It wasveryold and used tone herhusbabds dog. She had kept her husbands moustache Nsno sw the dog had to wear the moustChe everydya. Woof the sog zaid as it saw anorwngw tentacle in the water. The lady didn’t asee it then monster came out of he watts and ate here. As itateher itlaufhedabd it sounded Exactly LIKE HeR. DEAD H7SBAaND!!!!!!!!!

    I chllenge you to do better (you don’t have to use an iPod tou ch keyboard)

  4. I think that plan sounds eminently sensible. Give your self some time and some care!
    I know you are a great writer, because I have been lucky enough to read some of your stuff.
    Also I hope it doesn’t seem weird, but in a way, your feeling down about things is making me feel allowed to be worried or scared about things. Because I know you will get through it and so will I as well.

  5. *hugs* It’s not surprising that other stuff would impact on you. What is awesome is your dedication to keep trying.

    Love you lots. Also, your Mum called today. Playdate next week!

  6. Karen and Sam: Thanks, kind words are nice 🙂

    Matt: Your typing in that comment is amazing. You should write all your stories on the iPod touch!

    Sok: I know what you mean, we need to give ourselves permission to be discouraged/frightened sometimes. I think that’s what I’m doing in this blog post and this week. ❤

    Giffy: Yep, I'm sure the dedication will come back, but I really need this break I think. Yay for playdates!

  7. Running will make you happy! Good work you:)

    Also, I have grand plans to buy a laptop; read your story chapter; make some notes; tell you you’re awesome:)

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