Sighing at a Blank Page

Maybe if I leave my laptop on the floor while I shower, Eli will blog for me.

(Insert shower break here.)

 

Yeah, that didn’t work.

Of course, I didn’t expect my dog to write for me!  Honestly, who am I kidding.  The bird is more likely to help out than the dog. 🙂

Tonight I’m having one of those moments that writers dread: a blank page in front of my eyes, a blank mind behind them.  Not entirely blank, really, but none of my ideas are worth much.  I thought about posting an existential not-a-post post, but I’ve done that already.  I considered playing another game, but that seems somewhat ridiculous two nights in a row.  (Thanks to those who played along, by the way!)

My usual default options when I can’t think of a good post idea are writing practice and query letters.  Neither of these things are bad; not only are they reasonable posts for this blog, they are also good for me as a writer.  Tonight, however, maybe not so much.  Writing practice probably wouldn’t have turned out well, given the current state of my creativity – I would have been sitting here for some time, staring, while I tried to gather scattered thoughts.  As far as queries go, well, the posts themselves are little and easy, but they require actually putting together the query packet, and it’s already late and I want to go to bed.  🙂

It’s harder to write a blog about writing when I’m not doing a lot of actual writing, the latter of which is an issue I desperately need to address.  I’ve drilled down to what I think is the problem, and it’s really two problems.  I’ve continued to be very busy at work, and here lately a lot of the work is somewhat creative in nature, causing me to spend my energies there.  That wouldn’t be too much of an issue – I’ve written a lot more while busier – if it weren’t for the fact that I seem to have a dearth of motivation.

Thankfully, November is approaching (next week is October?!) which means two things to help.  First, work should be a bit slower, giving me more time to write.  And second is, well, NaNo!  I always seem to use NaNoWriMo to kick-start my creative process.  Unlike some writers, I don’t fall down in mental exhaustion after a month of intense writing.  Instead, my brain jumps into gear and keeps me going.

So I guess I just need to make it through October!

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Blocks

A couple of days ago I wrote about what I do when I have trouble finding writing inspiration.  Today I want to talk about some of the reasons for writer’s block (or whatever your preferred term), partly because tonight one of those monsters is leaning up against the doorway that leads to my creative place.  (In other words, I’m a bit short on the inspiration tonight.)

Much like the last post in this vein, I’m not going to make generalizations or assume that my experience is either totally unique or completely the same as everyone else.  Instead, I’ll simply share with you some of the things that make it hard for me to find words.

The large block in front of me tonight is work.  This is an insanely busy week for me (today was day 3 of the week, and I’ve already put in almost 4 days’ worth of hours) and it will continue to be (I have another 7 days of work to go before a weekend).  I’m not the only one at my place of business working like crazy – we’ve got a big event this weekend and everyone is putting in a fair number of hours over many days – and I still love my job.  The reason I’m even mentioning it is that my mind is in a work place, not a writing place.  This is often one of my biggest blocks, although sometimes it takes the form of professional development instead of my daily tasks.

Another block for me is emotion.  Sometimes I’m just tired, and not up for the process of starting the creative engine.  (This is a small sidekick monster tonight, sitting there next to Work.)  Occasionally I’ll be in a mood that prevents writing.  These can include fired up over an issue, irritation with people (or a specific person), or even the odd melancholy.  None of these is conducive to imagination.

Distraction can also be a stumbling block for writing.  If my kitchen is dirty or there is a pressing errand to run, blogs and stories often take a back seat.  (I have been known to use writing to procrastinate on other tasks, but this is a different beast.)  People can also be a distraction – a friend asking me to do something isn’t exactly a block, but doesn’t encourage the writing, either.

Sometimes I get blocked for no apparent reason, which I’m fairly certain happens to others as well.  Now that I’ve posted about some of the reasons, I’ll keep more of an eye out to see what monster is sitting in the way.  Maybe if I know what’s causing the lack of inspiration, I might have an easier time resolving it!

Do you think I missed any important blocking monsters?