This last week I ground to a halt.
Normally, I use Writing Wednesdays to hold myself publicly accountable for how far I’m getting on projects, and to keep my pace reasonably on-track. This was fantastic for the novel and worked brilliantly. I sent it in to the editor, and leaned back in my chair and exhaled. I had a day to sit back and think, took a deep breath and thought, what next?
My brain was full of ideas. I have a window right now where I can work on pretty much whatever I’d like until January when the edits come back. I have two projects I’m working on for short pieces, one creative nonfiction, one fiction based on an image. I opened up those files…
Now, I know part of this is shifting gears from novel-brain into short-piece brain. I know an even bigger part of this is the reality of a renovation that was supposed to be three weeks and is now three months (and not done, but thanks for asking!) I’m in such a bad place emotionally, it’s pathetic. And I’m getting mad at myself for feeling that way – seriously, my life freaking rocks, and it’s just a renovation, for crying out loud! – but it is what it is. I learned the hard way that getting angry at yourself for how you feel is one of the single most counterproductive things one can do. Coming from someone who felt miserable and guilty that he didn’t feel miserable and guilty enough when something horrible happened, let me tell you, that was a weird lesson to learn.
That doesn’t mean I have to let the block endure. I’m reworking my writing schedule. Wednesdays I worked on short fiction while I worked on the novel Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. I’m going to flip that and work on short fiction Mondays and Tuesdays (project short story), take Wednesday for any-damn-thing-I’d-like, and Thursday and Friday for the creative nonfiction.
All of that to say, I’m still checking in, holding myself accountable, and that’s why this blog has been nigh on silent lately.
Hugs to you all if you need them. And hey – let me know if you’ve got any tricks you use when you’re blocked. My usual processes are the following:
What ‘Nathan Does When He Has Writer’s Block