THE WITCHING HOUR · Wattpad · Writing

The Art of Not-Writing and Becoming Quite Good At It.

I found it quite ironic that, after coming back here to write a new blog post, I realised the last post I uploaded was all about writer’s block and how to tackle it.

I wondered, briefly, why I couldn’t just heed the advice and tips laid out in that post (some being my own tips), however, with everything in consideration, I don’t think that what I’m currently experiencing is writer’s block. I’m not even sure what it is. Burn-out? Exhaustion? Apathy? A sudden lack of confidence?

So, here’s the thing: I’m no longer writing. I don’t even want to.

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Okay, that might be a little lie. I do want to. I think it’s that thing we writers have inside us… that little monster that is only ever satisfied when we write and when we’re not writing, it starts getting angry and frustrated and fucking hungry for words and paper and pen and ink. I know I want to write, but at the same time, I don’t want to. Does that even make sense? I have no idea, to be honest. I know that there’s a part of me that’s only truly happy during periods when I’m writing. I know that not writing makes me unhappy. In fact, scratch that, it makes me feel a bit empty. Useless. Like, if I’m not writing, what good am I? What else am I good at? (Note to self: You make a mean Victoria Sponge Cake and are good at organising stuff into piles. YOU CHAMPION.)

Yeah, yeah, I know. It all feels a bit dramatic, self-pitying and over-the-top, yada yada. But, my point is, I feel completely lost. I’m hanging out on social media and on Wattpad, reading all about my friends in the amazing writing community, doing their thing, writing their stuff, producing words. CREATING. I’m super proud of them all for just getting their shit done, but I’m all here, like BLEH. I feel a little bit like a fraud. As if maybe, I’m that person who wrote a few Wattpad books once and now the magic has disappeared into the nether and it sort of feels like I’ll never feel that rush of a new idea again – you know, that buzz you feel when you have a new story idea on the go and it’s just filling up space in your head and in your veins, until you think you might explode with pure passion and happiness. You know, RIGHT?

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I’ve had new ideas, sure. I’ve had a ton of them. Some of them I’ve run past my most trusted and beloved booky friends and come away feeling like I know which one I’ll write next. I’ve even got a couple of chapters down of one that seemed to pop its head up above the parapet of Shiny Bright Ideas, right before I took a catapult and took that head clean off its stupid shoulders.

And yet still… nothing. I’m not feeling strongly for any of them, and that’s not because I don’t like the ideas or because I don’t believe they have legs. I’m just not feeling it anymore. 

I’m not used to feeling like this and I’ve never completed a project without a firm idea of which one I’ll tackle next. Before I’d even finished writing the Dark Sanctuary series, I’d already started The Whitechapel Chronicles. Before finishing The Whitechapel Chronicles, I’d already begun writing Hedoschism. I’ve always started thinking about and writing something new, before I’ve finished my current WIP, even to the point when I’ve found the new idea SO exciting and SO intriguing, that it’s almost prevented me from reaching the end of what I was writing at the time. But, this time, I have no idea where to go next and it’s bugging the shit out of me.

Is it normal to be a writer and not have any idea which direction to head in? To not have anything in my head at all, apart from a growing frustration and an angry, hungry monster? Is it just life getting in the way? Truthfully, I haven’t sleep a decent night’s sleep in 5 weeks now. I am burnt-out. I know this. I’m trying to make moves to change things eg. establish better night-time routines, less screen time and subsequently less social media stalking in the evenings, take up a personal trainer at the gym to help me gain control of at least one thing in my life and improve my health.

But, in the meantime, what happens with my writing? Do I persevere? Wait it out? Just become a reader for the foreseeable future and forget that I was once a writer? Do I get a hobby? Watch more Netflix? Bake more Victoria Sponge Cakes (seems like a legit good use of my time if cake is involved)?

Does anyone else experience this horror? What do you do? Drop me a comment and save me from a life of Netflix binges and cake baking! (like anyone needs to be saved from that, right???)

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3 thoughts on “The Art of Not-Writing and Becoming Quite Good At It.

  1. I think it´s normal to not want to write. Maybe it´s a simple phase or maybe it´s really because you´re burned out. Perhaps it´s a combination? Since I´m not an author I can´t really give you any pointers on how you could get back out and back into the writing world but I can tell you this: Sometimes I blog. Sometimes I don´t. And all because of the reasons you´ve mentioned in your blog post. You´ve got the ideas but you lack the inpiration. You lack the motivation and need that certain something that´ll catapult you back. You don´t have that. That doesn´t mean you´ll never get back to that point. Somtimes I sit here and watch Youtube videos until fall asleep. This can happen over weeks! I´m often not able to write a proper review not even if my life depended on it. And it´s often just 1 review I need and I can´t be bothered.
    As for you not following your usual write program ( with already having a new idea in mind before completing the current project ): Guuuurl, you should see my draft box here on WP. HAHA. I even have a post I started writing with the title ” What the fuck am I doing here?” I cannot tell you how often I question myself on my blogging. The biggest Q I ask myself is: WHY?
    This is why I believe you´re totally normal and that your writing pause is also normal. Who knows, maybe one day you´ll wake up with a complete different idea and ditch the other ideas and write like a maniac. Lol. I have faith that you haven´t lost your mojo. Your mojo is just taking a nice nap and it´ll probably want a drink when it´s awake then it´ll want a nap again 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello, since you encouraged readers to speak up, I will talk about my personal experience. What you’re feeling is basically my default mood when it comes to writing. It is something I experience most of the time, and I agree this kind of flunk is really a good place to be. The things, like you said “I’ve had new ideas, sure. I’ve had a ton of them” but there’s a difference between this and feeling strongly enough for this idea that you want to write it down. And this why when it comes to writing, I am a very sporadic writer. It can be a pain, especially since I’m writing a novel with a friend and we have very different rythms when it comes to writing. Her mind is always full to the brink with new ideas, and she writes her chapters in a matter of no more than two days. I on the other hand only write a chapter every two/three mounths on a good day.

    And really? It’s okay. To answer your question : “But, in the meantime, what happens with my writing? Do I persevere? Wait it out? Just become a reader for the foreseeable future and forget that I was once a writer?” I would say that you can become a reader for as long as you want, enjoy other people’s ideas until one day an idea will tickle you the right way and you will want to take up the pen again, because it has inspired you. At least, that’s how I deal with this kind of mood.

    So, please do not feel bad if suddenly after having finished two series and an entire book you suddenly do not feel the same. You can take your time to write again, no matter how long it takes, you will always be a writer. Have faith, the love of the writing craft doesn’t go away so easily, it is just unavaiable temporarily (I tend to think of this time as some kind of reloading time).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really like the phrase you used ‘reloading time’! I‘m definitely going to look at this as reloading time – time to relax, time to not load up on pressure, time to read, time to make notes and see what happens.

      Like

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