Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Late IWSG Post... AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!


The great Alex J Cavanaugh has given us a noble task of venting all our writerly neurosis onto the world on the first Wednesday of each month. I, as part of my new year’s resolution, decided to be more awesome this year, actually that was my only resolution. I’m already on pace to brush my teeth more often and I parted my hair for work today. Oh, I also did ALL the dirty laundry yesterday. So, I can pretty much mark off my resolution as mission accomplished for 2013.

 

Where was I? Oh, well, we’ll just call the fact that this post did not go up this morning as my first big oopsie of the year. See, I got my days a bit mixed up. I thought internet-wise that today was Tuesday (in the real world, I knew it was Wednesday – there is a downside to the ability to compartmentalize, leads to contradictory beliefs).

 

So anyway, all that aside, today is my day to vent. Ready?

 

I haven’t written a word of fiction since October.

 

Nothing. Nada. What have I been doing. Well, outlining, breaking down my WIP into small chunks and carefully reviewing each scene. Nominally, I hope to make it better. Really, I’m stalling. I have to change my ‘about me’ page to reflect my self-published novella coming out later than I said it would. I’ve just not done a thing.

 

And that’s weird to me, I was on quite a roll I think for a lot of the year. My actual wordcount may not have been ridiculously high for the year, but I did write something in the neighborhood of a dozen stories – I’d say on average about 5k words per. I liked them all, more or less. I did leave a few unfinished, but for the most part, I didn’t leave many things undone.  

 

Then it all came to a screeching halt. Not just writing, but everything related to it. I didn’t think of it at the time, but if I were get all analytical with myself, I think I had a crisis around the time I hit 40. I realized that I’m getting older, I’ve got a family that I’ve been neglecting, and job that is getting more and more demanding with each passing day, and quite honestly, I’m not sure my level of craft is good enough to warrant continuing to spend so much time dedicating towards it.

 

So, I don’t decide anything, I just flounder about and hope I’m hit with a flash of inspiration that allows me to be better at everything, and have more time to do everything. I’m hoping that talking about it gets it all out of my system and I can move forward.

 

Wish me luck on that.

26 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No more floundering!!!
I went six months in between CassaFire and CassaStorm. It sucked. But inspiration hit again.
Forty threw me for a loop. Of course I'm staring at the approaching fifty, and that just might suck worse.

Tonja said...

I was 8 months pregnant when I turned 40. I had a teenager and an 8 year old. I had just started a consulting business and couldn't work more than 10 hours a week because of the 8 months of perpetual nausea. Did that cheer you up? Could be worse. Shake it off and keep writing.

Cherie Colyer said...

Look at the bright side, you've flushed out your next novel and now all you have to do is sit down and write it. You can do this and still balance the rest of your life. Try setting aside 60 minutes a day for writing.

Maybe your word for 2013 should be balance. :)

Best!

mshatch said...

Just remember it isn't all about talent or inspiration; it's about practice. Keep practicing and your level of craft will improve. It's inevitable.

Huntress said...

My house renovation kicked me off the writing path. I had a schedule to write every day starting at 9 am. Then scraping, painting, plastering, and general demolition took over my life. I haven't got back into the grove yet. *so ashamed*

Btw, Tonja has both of us beat. Holy cats.

stu said...

I suppose if you're thinking of backing away from writing a little, you need to think about why you write. Is it for enjoyment, publication, the hope of selling lots of copies?

M.J. Fifield said...

I should have made a resolution to be more awesome this year. Why didn't I think of that?

I didn't write much at the end of the year either. I made it until the second week of NaNoWriMo before I completely fell off the writing truck.

But I like what Stu said about thinking about why you write. Wise words.

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

I sometimes get that way where I don't have any words or they are hard to come by. At that point I usually switch to my art for a few weeks and crank out a couple of drawings.

celeste holloway said...

I sooo feel your pain. I've been there, in the slump, but eventually stories started bubbling in my head again. Fret not, you'll get back your writing mojo. Maybe your creative juices just needed a little break. I'm betting it won't be long and your writer's compulsion will return w/a vengeance. Until then, just relax and enjoy the calm. :)

Andrew Leon said...

Nooo... you owe me stuff to edit so that I will feel like our relationship is somewhat mutual, so you don't get to quit writing.
Issue settled, right?

Did you get my email the other day?

Deborah Walker said...

Sounds like you're still being productive, I wouldn't sweat it. Thing is, writing will still be there when you're ready to come back to it.

Ciara said...

No more floundering, you are too good of a writer. I want to read the next story. :)

Monti said...

Breaks from writing give you time to think, plot and plan. That's a good thing. Now decide when you're going to put those thoughts down.

Monti
Mary Montague Sikes

Diane Riggins said...

Sometimes taking a break especially from writing can be a good thing. You can let your mind wonder about other things and come up with new ideas. It allows you to look at your writing with a fresh perspective.

Tony Laplume said...

I've got to echo Stu's suggestion. If you can say you write because you honestly feel compelled to write, then you'll get back into it. Don't worry too much about it.

Mel Chesley said...

I do wish you luck. If you want to keep writing, you will. Don't leave this undone, at the very least, finish what you started, then focus on something else. You won't regret it later.

Kirsten said...

I think you're off to a great start! By writing down what is standing in your way and what is bothering you about the writing, you may have the beginnings of the story you really want to tell. Sometimes words are the only way to find what lies at the bottom of the wordlessness ...

Al Diaz said...

The more you think about it, the more you will convince yourself you haven't thought it enough. Action is what you need. :)

damyantiwrites said...

Here's wishing you loads of inspiration in the new year!

Donna Hole said...

Ya know; us blogger/authors have a misguided belief that if we are not blogging and writing 24/7 we are not going to ever make it in the publishing world. I'll admit this is my own philosophy; but aren't we all human with other concerns than the next line in a novel.

I know that is a tabu attitude for a writer. But maybe you just needed a break from all the pressure to do your own thing for a while.

2012 doesn't seem to have been a great year for a lot of writers. I thought I was alone in my blues, but seems a lot of people had writing troubles over the last year.

Lets hope 2013 is more inspiring :)

Do what you can Rusty; and take pride in your accomplishments, no matter how small.

.......dhole

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Crises can be good things, I think. It makes us look at ourselves and make decisions, based on what we really want - what's important - and finding the new normal to balance what we need and what we want.

Something I remind myself of when I get to the point of wondering if I'm good enough or not to be successful with writing is that it's not all about the writing, especially when you self-publish. A lot of it is timing, and finding those right readers who fall in love with your stuff and propel you forward. Writing is a very important part, but sometimes the other variables preclude success. If we don't hang on, we'll never know.

Plus, there's nothing wrong with writing a book in a year (or even two), or a compilation of short stories, or even blog posts regularly. If slowing down with writing will make us happier, why not. So much importance is placed on productivity, but balance is important, too.

Plus, success in anything seems to be like trying to get pregnant. The moment you quit trying so hard is when things seem to happen. It's like the Universe can smell desperation or something!

Sorry for the book-length response. Your post just resonated with me because it's something I seem to struggle with a lot.

Andrew Leon said...

You know, I just did that review on Silverthorn by Raymond Feist, and he's a highly successful fantasy author. Silverthorn was utter crap. Your stuff is way better. It's not even a fair comparison, because it's like comparing hamburger to cow poop. Sure, they both come from a cow, but most people aren't gonna sit down (willingly) to eat the cow patty.

Just sayin'.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

You pretty well capsulized the problem with writing-- it's a lot of effort for such little in return, financially & success that is-- and there are jobs and families and a million other things that need attention. Not sure if there is or ever will be a solution to this dilemma. (I like your New Year's resolutions LOL.) Happy 2013, Rusty!

Nicole said...

Sometimes you need that (often sucky) lack of inspiration to jump-start the muse a little later on. I'll keep my fingers crossed that 2013 finds you back in the groove.

Cindy said...

I have these same problems. Mainly balancing real life and writing. I find that if I can get something written no matter how bad it is..it often leads to something better. Of course, at times that takes longer than I would like.

40 is just a number. We're all young on the inside, right? :)

sjp said...

The weeks spent stuck make it so much more brilliant when that inspo flash does come, trust me, its pretty much a monthly habit of mine ;)