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.
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?
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???)