Monday, May 19, 2008


I've been going back and forth lately about my writing. First I get frustrated with myself that I haven't been writing outside of this blog and my personal journal, but then I realize everyone goes through periods when they just can't. I don't have the typical obligations getting in the way - family, kids, work - but I do have my own issues.

The past couple months have really taken a lot out of me. All the unknowns with our immigration status, trying really hard not to play 'what if' (one of my favorite ways to pass the time), and still trying to adapt to our new lives; it's all zapped my creativity. I have done a little design work and even that has taken more effort than normal. I'm still thinking about my story and still feel that same excitement I did when the idea first came to me, but I can't seem to sit down and write.

Yesterday was a good example. I finished all the little things I always want completed before writing but ended up watching a movie instead. I worry that my emotional state will have a negative effect on the overall story and I don't want to have to rewrite whole sections because my head wasn't in the right place. Does that make sense?

Tonight I'm going to try again. When I last wrote two weeks ago, I purposely left off in the middle of a scene so I could jump back in without much thought. Hopefully it'll work.


spyscribbler said...

I know the feeling. I only got a little writing the last four weeks. The studio has been really busy. I wrote a little today, and last night I was plot-thinking in my head.

So we're getting stuff done. Just sometimes it's not as much as I'd prefer. :-(

Anonymous said...

Working full time with little ones at home, I know what you mean.

I try to write on page a day minimum without editing or any other distractions. It works for me, lots of times I get much more in, but I force myself to get the one page done.


Turkey Lurkey said...

I have creative 'phases' with writing. I think the weather plays a role too. If it is hot and sunny, I want to spend my time outdoors working in the garden. If it is cold and rainy, sitting down to a good book (reading or writing) is the way to go.

If you want to get back on track, try to find a "writing coach" who will encourage you to do a page/day. Or you could provide yourself with little incentives like a gift after you've completed 30,000 words.

Or you can just let it go until your life is back in balance. In any case, don't be hard on yourself.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks everyone. I think you're right, Turkey, I need to stop being do hard on myself.

And Steve, you reminded me that I should lower my expectations. When I was writing my memoir my goal was at least 1000 words per day and now that amount seems daunting. A page a day is less intimidating.

Spy, I don't know why I forget that thinking counts, too. :)

Janna Qualman said...

I get it what you're saying, too. And you're right - most, if not all, writers have fits and spurts. Try not to get too discouraged and don't make yourself feel bad. The rejuvenation and perspective you gain during this downtime will help you in the long run.

Good luck to you, Mel.