It could be argued that I’ve recently had a bad case of “writer’s block.” For the last few weeks I haven’t added to my current Work-In-Progress, or if I did, it was maybe a paragraph at a time. The problem wasn’t my story because I knew I liked the concept. What troubled me was that I didn’t write anything else either. No other story or even fanfiction appealed to me for what seemed like almost a month.
I think the cause might have been stress. Yes, like any true millennial I live with my family (sarcasm, people), but I was still losing my job. I pay for all my own expenses like car insurance, student loans and my smartphone plan (I constantly offer to pay rent but Mom doesn’t take it since I save every penny). Plus I found out about that two-consecutive-knee surgeries thing right around the time my boss announced the doors were closing. I can usually keep my eye on the goal of fixing my knees, but surgery and recuperation never sounds like fun.
Eventually, at night when I finally settled down on the couch, I’d take a nap even though I’d wanted to write. Or I wouldn’t have enough concentration. “Depression” isn’t the word but “stress” definitely is.
When I get in these modes I start to worry: “What if I never write again? What if I never get my groove back?” This time around, blogging gave me my groove back. The rush of churning out long posts reminded me that I’m a writer, damn it. Sit your ass down in front of that text document and write.
Finally today I wrote more than a page of my WIP. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much but it was a lot for me, and it feels good.
I think “writer’s block” should be called “writer’s break” instead. There is no mystical anti-muse preventing you from writing. For whatever reason, your mind has decided that you need to step back from whatever you’re working on and deal with other things for a while. The trick is when you start to miss writing, sit your ass down and write something even if it’s not the novel that will make you famous. Pretty soon you’ll be ready to resume your regularly-scheduled project…if you haven’t moved onto something else by then. And that’s okay too.