And how Fridays should *not* be.

Feeling very creatively stuck right now.  The week has been ridiculously productive – after that short stumble on Sunday, I have managed to go above and beyond my word-count quota every single day.  Except today.  There’s no real reason for this.  I spent the morning in a coffeeshop, rather than at my usual table, looking out the window.  I had my coffee this morning, and it was even reasonable coffeeshop coffee, rather than what I make.  I probably haven’t had enough sleep, but I never have enough sleep.  Kid 1 slept through the night, and while baby 2 is making me uncomfortable, it’s certainly no more so than usual.  Due to my coffeeshop drop-off this morning, I even got in a short walk this morning coming home…and with the weather the way it is, it’s unlikely I would have left my house otherwise.

The story itself isn’t the issue either.  I know where I am in the plot, I know exactly what happens next.  This is not one of those dreaded issues or bottlenecks that I’m sure will be upcoming.  The words themselves just aren’t there.  When they do come, they’re plodding, annoying to me.  There’s no lyricism in them and that makes them both difficult to write and irritating to read over.

I’ve taken breaks.  I went and read some more of Daemon Prism (which, while wonderful, makes my current lack of lyricism feel particularly glaring).  I took my walk.  I emailed some friends.  Hell, I even went and made myself a smoothie instead of throwing myself into the familiar comfort of coffee and (mostly likely) cookies.  (that being said, coffee is likely to follow said smoothie).

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m putting too much pressure on myself, if I should try to cut my wordcount down…not a lot, just a little…so that I can concentrate more on crafting the work rather than just writing down words.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased with what I’ve done up to this point.  But I want to make sure that I’m working with the skill I know I’m capable of.  Of course, the thought of cutting down wordcount scares me because it means first draft might not be done by baby 2.  And that worries me quite a bit.

And yes, I recognize that there’s a good chance that this pressure and stress is contributing to this (hopefully temporary) dry spell.

Mostly I feel like my Muse, my truly creative and inspired side, has decided to take a rather determined nap.   And while I feel that she likely needs to be poked, probably with something sharp, I’m more than willing to listen to suggestions of other ways I might wake her up.

Okay…go.

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5 thoughts on “And how Fridays should *not* be.

  1. Hello Em,
    All writers go through writer’s block. When I get it, I tend to skip the scene or chapter that I’m working on, and skip to a later chapter that I’ve already thought about. Once I create a few pages from that, I go back to where I left off–usually by then I’m motivated to continue.

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta

    P.S. May I ask what your story is about?

    • Hi, thanks for the comment! I do know what I want to happen next, it just wasn’t happening yesterday. What I wound up doing today was skipping a short scene ahead – I’ll just have to figure out how to do the segue later, I guess.

      I don’t really like to get into plot or details until the work is much closer to completion, but it’s a steampunk fantasy, and pretty dark. 🙂 Hope to hear more from you!

      cheers,
      Em

  2. I’m not entirely sure what to suggest, since I don’t try for elegant prose on first draft. If I get some, great, one less thing to polish in editing, but first draft is all about getting the story finished, on screen from start to finish, rather than beautiful language. But then, that’s what works for me.

    But I totally know what you mean about Daemon Prism making you look at your own work with a critical eye. I wonder if that might really be what’s behind the voice I mentioned yesterday, asking if that’s really all that there is to my plot. Hmm.

    And remember, when you poke your muse, you’re poking part of yourself, so don’t use anything too sharp. I don’t want you to become that kind of hole-y.

    • This, and our chat this afternoon, has done me a world of good, Julie. Thanks so much…it really helps! I think I’m just feeling the time-pressure…if I can’t come up with the elegant prose now, how on earth am I going to manage it on total sleep-deprivation?

      I’m pleased to say that today went better. I tried to put a lot less pressure on myself, and I think that really helped.

  3. Can’t stand dry spells myself, and you are right in thinking that less pressure equals more inspiration. Perhaps a few notes on dry days, plot development or the segue you referred to? Good luck, I know you’ll find a way.
    Val

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