Saturday, May 1, 2010

Not writing... I have been cursed! [No wait, that's an excuse]


I have been hiding it. Mysteriously, there have been no progress reports, because there has been nothing to report [apart from a 3-4 thousand words]. I am in the middle of a project, which for me is the slowest point in a project. At first I block and take a day to think about things. Then I take a break to starve myself to write and this usually grows into fear to touch the novel and discover that I am still headed nowhere. Usually, this resolves in less than a week, a week at most.

I also tend to believe that this is the point, where most people with writing aspirations [the fame and recognition after making bestseller list] quite the novel and say that they are writing, but are in reality are not. I am not condeming anyone, because for a time being in my teen years I was the same. Always a starter, never a finisher. But the fear of being one of these people, who socially are not well regarded [and also who give actual writers a bad name*], pushed me past the painful middle.

This time my writing time is eclipsed by Accounting, which has proven itself a stubborn project and it is not just my time that is sucked, but my mind. This is where for me it gets tricky, you know. Accomplished writers underline how important persistance is and how a writer should steal time to write. But what does a writer do, when the real world has invaded his thoughts and even if he has stolen the time write, he can do nothing with it?

I think the answer should be, don't write... This is perhaps the only instance, when pushing your mind creatively is worse for you. You hate the project, because work is glacier slow. You lose that precious self-esteem as a writer. 'Oh, I write shitty words all the time, so I suck'. And writing is not easy. There is no need to make the process painful for your mind and for your emotional comfort. BUT if you are not dealing with a small time crisis with a real life [as in a crisis that does not have long term consequences], push people. No excuses**.

Now, I am not sure, when my creative constipation will end. I have had a few fail starts with the bare minimum completed, but it felt god awful. However, I received the best critique ever on the first chapter of "Forged in Blood". I sent it to a non-UF writer, who knows good, when he sees it, because he reads so much and widely. He pointed more positive things than negative and is even impressed. I think as far as motivation this will be crucial in helping me overcome the middle.

Question: How do you deal, when the dry spells enchant your keyboard-waltzing fingers?

* - "But Marcia, our dear Harry is a 'Writer'. He is inm the middle of a 'novel'." - Hah-Hah
** - But as we all know, writers excel at making excuses and sound sincere about it. I am sure I have perfected this technique.


T.S. Bazelli said...

You're not going to want to hear this but I stopped writing (except occasionally) while I was in university. There just wasn't enough time between work, school, and life, and school was the priority.

Sometimes life gets stressful. It's ok to give yourself permission to take a break from the writing once in a while. Worry/stress just adds to the writer's block.

Harry Markov said...

If you lived in my country, attended my university, you would see why I'm pushing for heavy novel writing. It is a place ruled by chaos, where one can not study for months and then have to study for weeks. It is how the university rolls. This is out of necessity going there, until I am ready to move out from the country.

One word: complicated.