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.