Let’s chat for a minute, shall we?
Because I have 5 published books but I hit walls when I’m drafting or working.
Because not enough published authors talk about those walls.
Because when we’re alone, working in quiet, we think we’re the only ones who hit those walls.
So I wanna talk about writing blocks a little.
Right now, I’m supposed to be choosing an active work-in-progress to draft. To understand why, you really have to understand my process. It goes something like this:
- Get an idea, make a note of the idea somewhere (phone, usually)
- Try a scene with the idea
- Repeat this process for as many new ideas as you get for as long as you get them, especially if you happen to be actively working on something else and unable to take on new projects
- Commit to an idea fully by writing a full outline
- Write a zero draft
- Move onto editing and beta reading (which this is not at all about today) with that story and move back up to the top of this list to draft something new
Seems so simple, right? I like to always have something in draft mode so that I’m always creating something new. That’s the goal.
So what’s the problem today?
Well, today I have nothing in drafting mode.
In fact, I have had nothing in drafting mode since finishing the YA Contemporary zero draft over 2 months ago. For 2 months I’ve been cycling between making notes about new ideas and writing sample scenes. For more than 8 weeks (closer to 10, actually) I have been starting outlines and then hitting a wall where I either:
- Hate the idea suddenly
- Can’t figure out where the idea would go from there
- Get bored with the idea
- Find something shiny to distract me (usually a different idea)
Why is that a problem?
Well, it’s not. Not really. I have the MagicalYA with betas, Fraun 4 is ready for betas, and the YAContemporary is ready for my first read through. I have innumerable ideas all in different stages of drafting or outlines. Basically, I have enough material to keep bringing new book babies into the world.
But writing is my happy place. Writing is where I escape. It’s where I put emotions, things I’m normally not very adept at communicating or explaining, into characters and situations. So when it comes to writing, I hold myself to pretty high (arguably irrational) standards.
Really, if I take time to analyze life, I shouldn’t be surprised nothing is speaking to me right now. I’m writing (almost) every day but the ideas are just all over the place.
Like real life.
Like the news.
Logically I know my process is intense. I know holding myself to this high standard of always drafting is crazy. I know it’s perfectly normal to take a break, work on short things, and try to cope with life. I know I’ll be fine and a new idea will spawn eventually.
I know that, deep down.
But some days it’s hard to let myself remember that. Some days I start to feel like a failure.
I just wanted to share because I know I’m not alone. I know other writers feel this same way. You’re not alone.
I see you.