Not being able to write sucks

Since my last post, I’ve made three unpublished blog post drafts. One about daily life. One about plot revisions. One about a new, creative hobby of mine. And they’re all sitting there with only a few paragraphs and nothing more. Let’s just say that it’s quite characteristic for all my writing nowadays. In other words, I haven’t written a thing. And it sucks.

Lesson learnt: If you do too much and keep that up for too long, getting back on your feet is going to be hard. It’s going to take time. A LOT of time. And things you like are going to suffer for it. If you’re in a situation where you think that you should probably slow down or do a little less soon, do it now. The longer you wait, the harder it gets.

It’s not even writer’s block. Everything’s there in my head, I’m motivated, I have everything planned out and don’t feel pressured by anything else than my own deadline, but I just can’t sit down with anything nowadays, particularly not on the computer. It’s like I can’t turn off that “oh God, I’m behind in my translations” feeling that I’ve had for half a year. For those 6 months, translating was all I ever did besides work and dance class. I’m having a hard time convincing my brain that sitting in front of a computer doesn’t necessarily mean that I have work I should do. I’m not procrastinating. I’m having the evening off, damn it! And yes, writing’s work, but it’s definitely not the same.

But apparently opening any kind of writing program or notebook triggers my brain’s “I’m so overworked, I can’t do this anymore” response. It does make sense. My brain doesn’t know that the super-intense translation marathon I had for half a year is over. It doesn’t know that everything involving computers isn’t work, or something urgent and tiresome.

Today I’ll run a little experiment. When I get home tonight there’ll be no computer, no TV, nothing. If I need sensory input I’ll read – I’m currently re-reading Harry Potter, just because reading a book I like and have read several times before seemed to be just the thing right now. I might try to draw again, or perhaps plot a little more on paper. And then there’s loads of tidying up to do. Hopefully that will do the trick.

The takeaway: Too much of a good thing is still too damn much.

There! I’m done with my complaining for now! Writing-related news:

  • I’ve realised that far from all stories on my “to write” list will ever be written, nor should they. That list is now half of what it was. The remaining stories will be background fodder or ideas that might evolve into something else, but there’s no need to insist on writing a story that you don’t feel enthusiastic or confident about.
  • I got a new idea for a story this morning. I think some of it came from a dream of mine, but I’ve had similar ideas for a while now. It wasn’t until now that all the pieces finally came somewhat together. I only have the starting point, so I have no idea what the actual plot will be, but I think it will be fun to write. Won’t say anything more yet!


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