You should understand before we go any further that when I say “break” I really mean “breakdown” or “block” or something similar. Perhaps breakdown is too harsh, I was not a quivering mess in the corner unable to do anything but cry. I was functioning just fine, I just wasn’t writing. And that for me is far more important than whether or not I was able to get in the car and drive to work.
This block possibly came about because:
- Day job stressors (far too complicated to go into here but let us say that at this point I still have a day job to support my writing until it is the paying job – you get the point)
- Changes with daylight savings threw me more than I thought possible, how can one hour make so much trouble?
- A 24 hour bug but it seems to have taken a lot longer than a day to get over
- Reduced energy which I am blaming on all of the above
- Fear that my story is not enough to fill three books (probably the most significant, but let us not discount the other items in the list).
And in the midst of all this I realised that I had stopped writing and this stressed me further to the point it became harder and harder each day to even look at the computer and when I did it was to check Facebook and Twitter, not write.
I spent some time developing maps and plans of castles and towns. I then drafted a blog post about the map development I was doing for my novel series but I lacked confidence to even polish that and post it. Again, creating more stress.
So after nearly two weeks of not writing and stressing about not writing I have taken some steps to remind myself of why I write in the first place and what I want to do with my writing.
- I am focusing on the fun side: the magic of the story unfolding across a screen (or page); that wonder of discovery as the characters come to life and tell me what they want.
- I am also working through a writing a series course with Holly Lisle, which is interesting and giving me lots of tips to make my current work stronger.
Slowly able to take deep breaths again (hence this post) I am hoping I haven’t overloaded myself with to do’s for this week. But after thinking about what I want and knowing what I can achieve I have set out the following:
- To write 1500 words of my new work every day (weekend included) and when I find the flow that equates to about an hour of writing.
- To finalise the short story I have been working on – just a few tweaks and it is ready to go; two to three hours at most I’m sure and important because I want to get a good story out to you lovely readers soon. The longer I put it off the longer until you get it.
- Return to regular blogging….
I know that this is achievable even with my current workload at the day job.
The key is to write and to write every day and I am attempting to create a writing chain. I haven’t made my goal public yet but not far away…
At the moment I am focusing on everything I can to get writing again and continuing to write.
I have even considered signing up for Nanowrimo this year. A scary thought but I would only need to write 1667 words a day to complete the 50,000. Depending on the flow I can write anywhere from 1200 to 2000 words an hour but I don’t want to overload myself and cause another block (I’ve done that before).
So here is a picture of part of my map – just because I was going to share it, my creating maps started as a distraction or procrastination tool as I struggled with the story a little but that grew into something far worse. So no more maps until I have my 1500 words written for the day. And we can count today as day 1 of the chain!