First, let me apologize for this blog being dark for so long. I haven’t gone this long without a post in …well….never. But the very lack of recent posting is the focus of today’s blog.
I have lost my creating/writing mojo.
Now it wasn't caused by anything writing related, usually a writing funk happens (for me anyway) at the result of a serious writing set-back or nasty rejection. Nope, this time life has just been poking at me with a well sharpened stick. A lot.
Normally writing is my refuge from the cruelties of the rest of the world, but I think cumulative attacks on my psyche have left me drained. I really don't want to do anything, I don't feel bad (well still freaked out from our house being burgled a few days ago), but I'm just not interested in creating.
I just survived the greatest mojo-kick-starter around- Comic Con. For a day I thought I'd be fine. Then house got broken into and my mojo folded like a pack of marked playing cards. Didn't even want to do this blog since I had nothing to say.
So, I'm reaching out to you all asking for help- how can I get my focus back to what I KNOW I love? I have been reading, so that's good (I was lucky to win an advanced copy of Gail Carriger's new book (coming out in Feb- and so far it's a HOOT!!). But no urge to even think about my writing.
To be honest, it's starting to freak me out.
So any helpful mojo-kick starting ideas out there?
I feel for you. Having your house broken into feels like such a personal violation, worse than a rejection.ReplyDelete
But you were looking for ways to get back into it.
Set a deadline. This usually works for me. Sometimes a contest deadline works. Or set a deadline for a query, a pitch, a contest, or even to send something to a critique partner by a specific date.
And I always try to remind myself I do feel better when I write as I'm sure you do.
Thank you Suzanne- I really think you're right. I KNOW I feel better when I'm writing, more complete :). I just need to make sure I remember that.Delete
I like the idea of small deadlines too :)
Marie, journal. Every night. Three pages. Get a meditation tape that you like. Put on headphones, turn on the tape, pick up pen and paper and empty your head out onto the page. This isn't trying to create. This is purging. Your creative wellspring is still there, it's just clogged up with a bunch of confusion, anger, resentment, etc, etc, etc. Pour all that whiney, bitchy stuff out into the journal. Don't read what you write. You can do that later. Much later. For now, just pour the poison out of you on the page. After a few days of this, you'll likely find that glimmers of 'hey, you know that story you were kicking around...let's work on that!' popping up. Just don't stop the journaling. It's a great way to keep stuff from getting blocked up again.ReplyDelete
OOOO! I like this idea Marcella! Especially the concept of getting the "poison" out. I've never been a journaler- but this might be the time for it.Delete
I'm so sorry, Marie. I had a terrible start to my week and I self-medicated by reading TWO (novella-length)books. It helped so much, reminding me why I'm writing in the first place. Maybe you can get inspired by a great book!ReplyDelete
Hugs back at you Cassi :). I'm sorry the week started bad for you too :(. I think the reading will help, sort of pull my mind out of the BS it's been stuck in and remind it there are magaical wonderful worlds out there!Delete
Thank you for coming by!
I love Marcella's idea, Marie. Writing anything, even if it's just feelings on a page, is a step in the direction it sounds like you want to head. If you're looking to be re-inspired, maybe getting specific about what you used to love about it would help. Don't just say, I love writing, but I love that moment when...ReplyDelete
Or maybe it's time to write something totally outside of the box that's not meant for eventual publication necessarily, but just for you. Write something so outlandish and outrageous you can't help but smile every time you think about it.
Then again, maybe you just need to have a Smithwicks with your writer buddies :)
Hugs, Marie! You know you've been in my thoughts these past couple months. I know you'll pull out of this funk! You're too strong a person not to.
Thank you so much for coming by and your wise comments Melssa :)Hmmm- something totally crazy you say? I think I can do that! Maybe a "not-for-publication" drunken faerie adventure ;).Delete
And heck yeah on spending some serious hanging out time with a kind pint of Smithwicks and my writing buddies! Once you all get back from Nationals I think I need that :).
Thank you for coming by :)
I feel for you. I've been in this situation too. I usually think the first thing I need to decide when that happens is: do I need a holiday from writing? (a short, guilt-free holiday just like people with normal jobs have) Sometimes the answer is yes. If it isn't, here's a couple of resources that can help.
This podcast is on writer's block. I have listened to it several times when I hit a funk. It's #87 on the link. And it goes beyond the usual advice.
Also, have you tried Julia Cameron's book, "The Artist's Way"? It's pretty good, and she's big on journaling, which is helpful.
Thank you for coming by and your great suggestions Carla :). I'll have to check out the podcast. I've not read Julia's book, but I might check that out too.Delete
Thank you for coming by
A couple of ideas about the writing funk:ReplyDelete
1. Maybe you need a vacation from writing. I know you haven't been writing for a while, but not writing because you can't find the motivation feels bad, whereas taking a planned vacation from it for X days to read, hang out with friends, etc might feel good. Also, nothing like telling yourself you're absolutely not allowed to write to make you want to write.
2. Maybe you need to ease yourself back into writing by, say, reading over the last few chapters of your WIP and doing some light revisions.
Hugs on the break-in.
Thanks Shoshana! I like that idea- the difference between a planned break and a "I just don't want to" break. Plus- telling myself I CAN'T do something often does cause the exact need to do it :)- so that might work!Delete
Thanks for the hugs as well as the great ideas!
Marie, so sorry to hear about your house being robbed.ReplyDelete
One of the things that helps for me is to journal -- just write about what's on my mind. Just writing anything at all seems to help unstop the dam.
Thank you for coming by Margaret :). I think i may try the journaling- hopefully I can get the bad stuff out and start getting back on track!Delete
Thank you for the comments and the good thoughts.
First of all, don't panic. You obviously need to refill the creative well. Continue reading, but try a few books in genres you don't normally read. Go to the movies with friends, watch TV and get some exercise. Go to the mall, grab a cup of coffee and just people watch. Make up stories in your mind about what their life histories might be. Clean up your writing area and get everything ready for when you do want to start.ReplyDelete
Try a new hobby or activity - something you've always wanted to try but have never had the time. Wander around a museum or art gallery. Check out the free activities in your area.
In other words relax, and you'll get your writing mojo back. I often think that stress really kills off our creative spark. I'm sorry to hear about the breakin. I've been in the same situation, and I hate the way it feels, knowing some stranger has gone through your stuff :(
Lots of excellent advice Shelley! Thank you! I like the idea of sort of relaxing my way back into it. That's what finally promted me to blog and ask for help- my stressing was getting worse.Delete
Thank you so much for coming by and commenting!
Oh no, Marie!!! I say take all the time you need. If you need to breathe, breathe. Just don't be too hard on yourself. Things will get better. *hugs*ReplyDelete
Thank you harshaspassion (my that's a long handle :)). Sometimes taking the time I need is just what I need (and often forget to do :)).Delete
Thank you for coming by and reminding me of that :).
I can tell you what helps me through bad stuff when it gets in the way of things, and I recommend trying lots of stuff. What works for one writer doesn't always work for another.ReplyDelete
Look in the mirror every morning and say aloud, "I'm a writer." (It's dumb, you'll feel stupid, but it works.)
Write about the bad stuff -- journal, or put it into a scene. Dorothy Sayers in her book Gaudy Night has one of her characters talk about what's the use of bad things if you don't put them to use. Some of this bad stuff makes for the best, most emotional scenes.
Switch to editing your stuff for a bit -- this can reignite a spark.
Use music -- make it a favorite song that you can listen to a thousand times (until it becomes white noise) -- great way to theme your book, too.
Hold a hot cup of something -- this is my ritual. And I just found out it kicks off release of certain brain chemicals that make you more creative.
Weed, wash dishes, take a shower -- something mindless that's an activity (where you feel good at the end) gets the brain hooked up again.
Drive -- has to be with no traffic and far enough to get you into those beta brain waves.
If all else fails, dark chocolate -- it's got lots of good stuff in it to pep you up.
Best thing, too, is not to push and not to beat yourself up -- sometimes you just need a little bit of fallow time.
Thank you Dorothy! You truely have an amazing list here (ok, the dark chocolate was my favorite- but I DO love really good dark chocolate!). But all of them are really excellent ideas to try. I agree, what works for some might not work for others- but I'll give them all a shot!Delete
Thank you for coming by!
I too have had the 'block'. But mine was hubby saying I spend too much time on the computer. And he is correct. Then I think I got upset that my brother (who is retired, I'm not.) finished several short stories. But he is retuired. I have to keep reminding myself. Slowly the mojo to write is coming back. I love all the suggests and I plan on using some. BTW I am a brand new writer. So I'm still learning the craft. I am amazed at what a writer must do to create a story. And I love it. Thank you for sharing this with us.ReplyDelete
Thank you for coming by and sharing your block issues Mary :). Hugs on the troubles- and DON'T give up!Delete
Sorry to here about the funk, Marie!!! *HUGS*ReplyDelete
And you can probably guess what my advice will be but here it comes anyway... Ready?
Write some fun short stories. Seriously! Just for fun! Just so you can feel the thrill of beginning something new and the rush of actually getting to the end of it.
It always gets me going better than anything else. It helps remind you how fun writing is, and instead of being overwhelmed by a novel, it's something you can feel like you've finished!
SO go for it chica! I can't wait to read it! :)
Thank you for the hugs and the wisdom Lisa :). I actually have some ideas kicking around that I might just try in short form :).Delete
Thank you for coming by!
Hang in there. Breathe. You love writing, I know it. I love writing and I can tell. Stress sucks out creativity, so do something nice for yourself. And don't feel guilty about it, or about not writing. That just gives you more stress. Breathe. Your creativity will return when you relax. So sorry to hear about the break in. Glad you and yours weren't hurt! Hugs! ~AnnetteReplyDelete
Thank you Annette :). I think that's it- combined stressors have sucked the creativeness right from me. Thank you for reminding me to relax :)- I need to be reminded that alot :).Delete
All of the above is really great. And things that I'll take to heart. But I do have a question and I'll ask because I just went through a major depressive period. Mine was pretty severe. Could you be depressed? In mine I didn't want to do anything but read and sleep. I didn't want to eat, write or leave the house. So something to think about because there are so many levels of depression.ReplyDelete
And so sorry to hear about your break in. I know how violated you feel having had one myself. The part that made me so mad about it was they took my jewelry box which didn't have any real jewelry in it but keepsakes, like my kid's locks of hair and first baby tooth.
Thank you for coming by LJ, and I am so sorry to hear about your depression. I think I am going through a form of depression, but not "classic" since there are reasons behind it. But, since I am prone to it, I think I'll take your words to heart and make sure it doesn't become that.Delete
I am so sorry to hear about your loss-it is the personal things, the ones without monetary value to anyone but us, that hurt the most :(.