Writing

I haven’t published anything in 6 years.

And it’s daunting.

Every year I say, “Okay. This is it. This is the year I publish my second book.” But I can’t even finish a second book. All my manuscripts are scattered around me, at 50%, 25%, 75%, 40% and 20%, and it’s like a big pile of laundry where I don’t know if I should start with my whites or my darks.

I won’t lie; I’m starting to feel kinda frustrated with myself. I feel like I’ve bitten off so much more than I can chew. I start new projects every other week or month – whether it’s launching my own business, or taking up calligraphy, or marathoning entire shows – and I almost never see them to completion.

But I am notย writing.

Credit: The Veragist

I used to write a new blog every other day. I used to be able to churn out 3000+ words in one night without any effort. Heck, I used to write fanfics so long they could be full-length novels. I even bought a typewriter in the hopes that going back to ink and paper will encourage me to write, but to no avail. And the last time I tried writing by hand I developed some weird problem with my thumb… which I strongly suspect to be carpal tunnel, but I’m too busy to even go check it out.

I came back two weeks ago from a trip to Europe and opened my laptop eagerly, thinking I’d have a fresh outlook, a clearer mind… but nope. A complete blank. Every character of mine across five books is completely refusing to cooperate with me, and it’s driving me up the wall.

So I’ve decided I’m going to stop trying.

Not for good. Just for a while until I get those juices flowing again. I have a massive TBR pile and I feel like maybe focusing on reading words written by other people will inspire me to write my own. I’m going to try blogging again, if only to keep myself from going to rusty. It will at least save me the anguish of sitting before my screen with my hands knotted in my lap, unable to make my characters see reason.

What was the longest Writer’s Block you’ve ever had? How did you get yourself through it?

Also, this video captures my feelingsย perfectly:ย 

 

14 thoughts on “I haven’t published anything in 6 years.

  1. I sure hope to read you more often and truly believe you will succeed in having your characters back on track!
    As I am not a writer stricto sensu, I can’t compare with you but I too took time off writing in my blog for a while, needed the break. Now, I almost have too much in my mind and I seem to not find time to write… Funny how things work…
    You’ll do great. Focus on what you enjoy. Take a breath. Read. Be inspired. It’ll come back in a rush! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have fun!

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate the vote of confidence. :’)

      And that seems to be the way things work for everyone. Inspiration almost always strikes me when I’m most busy, and when I find time for it, it’s completely gone, and it’s not a fun process to force it.

      I hope you find time to write too!

  2. Sorry to hear the writing isn’t going smoothly. Hopefully the slump will pass. I’ve not really had writer’s block. I outline my project and keep going until it’s done, even though some days I’m worried it’s a mess. But I only work on one thing at a time. Sounds like you have a number of projects you could pick up on, and that’s wonderful, because when you do find your inspiration again, you’ll have lots of material to choose from!

    1. You’re very fortunate! The planning approach never worked with me, and I think that’s why I’m always having trouble finishing. :/ Thank you for the encouragement, Carrie! x

  3. Hi Zen! Good to see you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ah, you know me. I don’t get writer’s block; I get distracted – video games, television, reading, surfing … anything to keep from doing the work.

    However, a funny thing happened on the way to my recent new release. Rich was sick for over a year, and the meds and illness changed his personality. He was NOT a nice person. Not abusive, but an irritable, cantankerous, codger-like man that we had to walk on eggshells around. Happy and laughing one minute, busting up the refrigerator the next because a corndog fell out of it. No kidding – it was that bad.

    There was no way I could write humor when I was so upset all the time. I escaped into reading. In 2017, I read 65 books for my 50-book Goodreads Challenge. When the dust settled, and Rich was well again, I had a renewed vigor for writing, and I honestly think all that reading helped and inspired me in my own writing.

    I easily finished #8 in my Murder series, finished a standalone novel that I’d been working on for over two years, and I’m nearly finished with the first in a new cozy series.

    So … I think you are right. Taking some time away, letting the work go and not feeling guilty about it while you read for enjoyment, might be just the thing you need to get back on the horse.

    When you do go back to writing, pick ONE project – the one you like the most and finish it. Once you have something completed, the next one will be easier.

    As for Rich … he is 100% healed and back to normal. He is once again my hero and makes me laugh. If I were still blogging on a regular basis, I would do an “I Adore My Husband” post again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hang in there, Zen! I know you’ll publish more books! Give it time.

    1. Hi, Maddie! It’s been a while!

      Oh wow… I’m sorry to hear that Rich was sick. I know first-hand how difficult it is to deal with sickness and the negative effects of medication, so I can totally sympathize. I’m so glad that he’s doing better now! I would love to see one of those Husband Appreciation posts again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      And huge congratulations on your writing achievements! I can only hope to be as productive as you one day, haha.

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Hey Zen! I just saw that you had posted over on goodreads. I’m sorry you feel unable to write. It’s a horrible feeling.
    What helps me sometimes is to keep writing, but with the clear understanding that it’s just for myself and noone will ever see it. Just writing diary-style, keep my hand moving and the pressure off and my thoughts structured.
    I hope you have lots of fun going through your tbr piles and recharging your writing batteries.

    1. Hello! It’s so nice to hear from you again! ๐Ÿ˜€

      That would be a good tactic… except I do want people to see my writing, and that’s why it never seems good enough. My writing batteries… haha, I like that!

      Thank you for dropping by!

    1. Haha, thank you for the vote of confidence! The problem is that I already found the right project, but it’s so difficult and I don’t feel worthy of it yet, if that makes sense. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  5. Awww…Zen! I totally feel you. I’m learning that this is all part of the process though. You said you just traveled for a couple of weeks. That means you are soaking in experiences, which is all part of the creative process. We are always writing, even when we’re not writing.

    I’ve had my fourth book finished for six months and it’s just sitting there…unread. I’ll find a home for it, but I’m in no rush. I’m learning to slow down and enjoy the process a lot more than I used to.

    1. I hope you’re right, because I really want to finish anything at this point. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It’s not that I don’t love my characters or books, because I really do, but I don’t feel like I’m currently able to give them my best, which they deserve.

      Good luck with your 4th book! Six months is not a long time for it to stew. You’ll be able to come back to it with fresh eyes before long. ๐Ÿ™‚

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