A Terrifying Thought

The writing front hasn’t been very productive the past three days.

The start of the week went off with a bang, but on Wednesday evening some switch got turned off. I’ve completed perhaps twenty novels and novellas in the past seven or eight years, but not one of them has a clever or exciting plot. Not one worthy of editing for such an aspiration as publication.

I thought I could do characters and imagery, and that would suffice—but no. Oh, no! On Wednesday I tackled another chapter…and the deficiencies of prose, dialogue, themes…gah, everything, overwhelmed me.

I’ve no heart to edit, no desire to write, no inclination to have anything to do with either my work or anyone else’s. We all have bad spells, but I’m closer to giving up today than I have been in many months.

Is it a lack of inspiration? I sit in front of my blank page, pen in hand, willing myself to begin a new project, to have a wonderful plot idea just begging to be set down on paper.

Nothing comes. Nothing! And I scarcely even care if the page is emptier than before I first saw it.

It’s not true writer’s block, if such a thing exists. It’s a complete antipathy towards anything creative. Instead I have filled my hours with equations and formulae, such as can usually be applied to in times of annoyance. And even they don’t cheer me up, for my misery isn’t so much to do with writing at all:

My characters have stopped talking to me. Since I first started writing, at the age of six or seven, my fictional people, their lives, voices, traits, grievances, have filled my thoughts day and night. Always there has been a cast of characters buzzing in my thoughts, effervescing over onto paper. Even when I’ve contended with ‘block’ before, the people in my mind have never left me alone.

Today I haven’t thought of them at all, unless reminded by the plethora of papers, notebooks, family trees, favourites tables and red-inked printouts littering my bedroom. And for a writer, that is a terrifying thought.

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5 thoughts on “A Terrifying Thought

  1. I can sympathize! My only suggestion is to keep giving yourself the time and the space for them to come back and talk to you again. Even if it just means you sitting in front of the computer or with a pen and paper writing whatever comes into your head. They will come back if your story is meant to be.

    • Thank you for the advice. I’m probably just over-reacting; three days is a shorter time than it seems. But that is very wise. I’ll do as you say and trust to time, and maybe get back into the habit of writing nonsense every morning the moment I wake up, as I used to do when I couldn’t write.
      I think I need a holiday. 😉

  2. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Don’t be disheartened, and, of course, don’t force yourself into ideas or projects. Inspiration is surely waiting to surprise you. If I were you, I’d be happy for the equations; since Physics last year, I’ve not encountered a real equation and that saddens me. But I am not you.
    And, yes, I, too, think you need a holiday 😉 We must cast away our Type A personalities for a day or two and do something that will make the plotlines rage through our brains.
    Hey, if it helps even a little, my characters never really ‘spoke/speak’ to me in the way I imagine they do to other authors. It’s the reason I can barely do a character interview – because I’m just talking to myself, not that I don’t do that anyway…! I was always a person who saw scenes visually, not as characters writhing through the synapses, accompanied by scenes. Perhaps that’s also the reason I don’t like to do ‘what do you, X-character, eat for breakfast?’-type scenarios; if my character doesn’t eat breakfast in my novel, what does it matter?
    A beautifully-scribed post as always. I would like it if the thought of doing so was not one against your good wishes. I won’t like something purely for its style.
    Axx

  3. Hi there, I nomiated you for the Liebster award on my blog 🙂 Please feel free to answer the questions i have come up with and pass the award on! Thank you!

    • Thank you so much! I’m utterly delighted! I haven’t written much lately but such an encouragement is surely inspiring. I love your questions, too – they should be interesting to answer.
      Thanks again,
      Lillian

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