Unmotivated Block

This hideous lull in my writing is awful, absolutely awful. It’s been going on for more than a month now – for the most part. I did begin Book 2 last week and the first section of the chapter was shorter than expected, like 500 words.Getting to write those 500 words took about three weeks of self-coercion, though.

I thought that starting with a new perspective might get me back into the groove, but that proved misleading and depressing. Then I sat back and said, well I’ve hardly outlined anything yet and maybe I’m just unsure of where I’m going. So I spent about two weeks making a checklist of what needs to happen in this cantankerous section called Book 2. That was fun and interesting and certainly useful. And I even outlined to chapter 12! (Book 2 starts at Chapter 10) The ideas flowed awesomely, although I noticed that it’s becoming more information and “why” heavy rather than just letting a series of events occur. Yes, it’s true, I need to begin to introduce and establish way more back story and world building than I did in Book 1. Enough with the introductions already.

So I get to writing and nothing comes.

Read a book. That always inspires me to write. Apparently, an 800 pg fantasy book and 700 page YA novel later, nothing. Not even a spark of stimulation. It’s curious, because usually after reading a long novel, the urge returns. Maybe I have to read something good. Maybe only Dostoevsky possesses that unique essence that rubs off on me and makes me want to write. After all, his works inspired the first book I ever finished. Granted, the first novel I finished was in the literary genre and therefore was a tad bit easier to write than a full-blown epic fantasy.

But I LOVE fantasy, what is wrong with me? These things come naturally to me.

So I watched a favorite movie of mine. Nothing. Defined the list of vocabulary words I’ve accumulated over the past couple of months. Maybe an intriguing word or two would catapult me into wanting to write that one impressive and articulate word into my story. Nothing.

Interact in writing forums. Nothing. Read nothing but blogs on writing and books. Nothing. Just watching the world pass me by. Tried writing long-hand. Nothing on the page. Decided I wouldn’t stress myself about not writing. A week went by and I didn’t even think about it once. Nothing.

Maybe I should read in a different genre. I even took a short break to muse over another story idea I had, and actually write some of it. It did me no good. Actually, now that I think of it, that’s what kind of got me here in the first place.

There is only one other solution I can think of that I haven’t tried yet. A push from Svedka might just give that slight amount of “to hell with it” to just start typing. That alcohol-induced sense of false assurance and assertion might be the catalyst to make me not give two craps what I’m writing or who’s going to read it.

It’s a freaking first draft, after all!!

I refuse to diagnose myself with writer’s block. It’s unmotivated block.


How do you get out of unmotivated block? Caffeine? Deprive yourself of things until you pass that annoying hurdle? Just set it down indefinitely? Pretend you have a deadline?


2 responses to “Unmotivated Block

  1. In various ways my general solution to writing difficulties has always been some form of “Write anyway. Give myself permission to write bad content and just write anyway.” I think one person actually said “Sometimes I will spend the whole writing session writing or typing ‘I have no idea what to write’ in various ways, but not often.”

    I once read an article that talked about the idea that at one point in human history there were myths of “muses”, supernatural spirits that helped humans create art. Then the Enlightenment happened and such things were banished.

    But this article argued that the idea of a “muse” is helpful, because it frees the artist from the burden of consistently producing quality work. Instead the artist’s job is simply to continue chipping away at the marble, and patiently wait for their muse, their other half, to join them in the studio or on the dance floor.

    I think there’s some merit to that type of thinking. Art is, by definition, elusive, and that same lack of reliability can set the stage for powerful fears to take hold, and once they do they can easily become a self fulfilling prophecy. “If nothing else,” I tell myself, “You’ll write it wrong, and that will help guide you to the right way. If east was the wrong direction, try west, then north, then south. Eventually something will feel ‘better’, and then it’s just a matter of narrowing it down.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your encouragement! I absolutely agree with you that writing it wrong is a good way to learn to write it right. How often we hear that “making mistakes is learning” or that it’s perfectly normal to not get it right the first time. Yet, when it comes to our creativity, this good advice gets thrown out the window by our own selves.

      And once I let go of trying to get it right the first, even the second or third or fourth time, and gave myself permission to write badly, is when that heavy load was lifted from my shoulders and I began to enjoy writing again.

      Liked by 1 person

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