Sometimes, as a writer, even when I know what to write, my fingers hover above my keyboard in a clutched-claw formation. I don’t know how to describe this state other than it feels as if my creativity is crunched. I am full of ideas and motivation, but I waver back and forth between projects hardly completing a thing. Meanwhile, my writing to-do list grows longer.
Why, when I sit down to write lately, do I feel stuck?
Honestly, if I knew the answer to this condition, I would fix it. Problem solved! But this is not the case, and so I have taken some time to self-analyze. Since Steps In Between is my journal on this road to becoming an author, it felt the perfect place to sort things out. Perhaps some of my readers can identity and offer advice. For now, read on to find the possible explanations that come to my mind. Note, I am not a psychologist.
My list of Creatively Crunching Causes I think might be in the way:
- Corona Virus Isolation is messing with my sleep patterns, my wake-up patterns, and my daily routines. I am more of a schedule person than I realized, and so the loss in routine has me feeling like my body is in one time zone, my brain’s in another. Since I’m stretched between time zones, then I must be on vacation. But, no! I’m at home, still working, still meandering through each day as if it’s a typical workday…even though it feels vastly far from normal.
- The Media is surely messing with my thoughts. And it should. Racism has always been in the forefront for so many, yet in the shadows for others. Regardless of where anyone is in relation to this topic, there is no longer a place to hide. It’s time for every single person out there to make a decision about how they can help end racism. My mind is filled with this ongoing learning and action-taking process. Because I care deeply about doing my part, this topic does tend to pull at my thoughts (though again, as it should).
- Overstimulation of ideas could also be a culprit. Too many possibilities to convey a character or plot in my new story has me tongue-tied with typing. Because of this, I found the site, One Stop for Writers, then promptly slipped down another rabbit hole! It’s a daunting task, slowing down to determine all the bits and pieces of a story ahead of time, especially when all I want to do is sit down, by the seat of my pants (you guessed it, I’m a pantser), and write! But I would like to think I learned something from writing my first book. It took six years because I let the story reveal itself to me. I discovered the characters and what they wanted as I journeyed along with them. Please don’t misunderstand, I enjoyed the ride. Those characters feel like best friends. However, this time, I need a little more organization. Now, I am a recovering pantser taking the time (that I can’t seem to schedule…see bullet #1) to plot out every aspect of my new story. P.S. One Stop for Writers is AMAZING! I will probably have a future post just about this multifaceted writing program. For now, I’m upside down in characterizations, story maps, and timelines. Again…overstimulated.
- Continual stances against inner-dialogue cause major fatigue. I’m not talking about story dialogue. I’m talking about my own inner voice. I must have shared before how I follow the motto, “JUST DO THE WORK.” It snapped in my brain one day as I tied up my Nikes to take a walk. When I googled it, various quotes included some form of the concept: just do it! Whatever needs accomplished, sit down (or stand up) and do the work. For me, it’s a constant conversation in the back of my mind. There is never a moment of rest because that voice whispers, work on your story. If I opt for a lazy day to relax, it hums a tune I can’t turn off. Then I must tell myself I can do it. I remind myself why I need to do it. Do I want it now? The sooner I start the work, the sooner I’ll be done. It’s as if my inner voice has a tone like my mother. But I listen. Every time, I listen. It’s just the constant aggravation in my head to do so weighs exhaustingly heavy.
- Balancing three writing genres is wreaking havoc in my brain. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the pure busyness of keeping up with all the writing I love to do. Poetry is my heart, while fiction is my soul, or maybe it’s the other way around! Blogging about my writing journey brings me pure joy! It fuels my desire to motivate and encourage others (my true intention for blogging). Alas, this could be why I feel muddled in which direction to go in my writing. I’m constantly moving in three different directions.
- Fear! I am new at fiction writing. My first book is sitting at the publisher’s right now. My newly assigned editor is working on suggestions for me to polish as we speak. Well, maybe she’s not necessarily working on it this very moment. It is the weekend, even though the days are blending in isolation (again, see bullet #1). But the real fact is, I am afraid. I want readers to receive my first fiction story positively. On top of that, I want a decent draft of my second book completed, pitched, and ready to go! It’s a big order, though I am known to pray big prayers. Fear, though, somehow, I allow it to put the brakes on my motivation and flow.
I am sure I could list more possible deterrents to my writing, but I will stop here. I am a firm believer in a solution-based concept for problem solving. It’s time to offer ideas to resolve my moments of feeling stuck. If I can self-analyze what the causes may be, then I should be able to think up a solution or two.
This is where I usually take a walk. Or I read a book “like a writer” for motivation to get back to work. So far, these two options have helped take the edge off. It’s also a hopeful season. As summer unfolds, maybe this new time of year will allow for a fresh restart. I can usually find a little more time during these longer days.
I suppose the purpose of this post is to share with my readers; I get stuck. Even when I am busy and filled with ideas; I get stuck. Other writers may feel the crunch of creativity at times, and perhaps a little self-analysis (and a walk) might be the perfect medicine.
I wish everyone the best of luck. Continue to push through, writing what you can, even in the stickiness of unease.
Happy Writing (because at least you’re writing),
Celaine Charles, June 21, 2020
Content and Image Credit:
https://99u.adobe.com/articles/7088/7-types-of-creative-block-and-what-to-do-about-them (Man with brick wall art, and site for creative blocks)
https://crafters.getcraft.com/en-articles/what-to-do-when-youre-feeling-stuck (woman in art museum, and site for help when feeling stuck)
https://emmacameron.com/therapy/5-creative-ways-to-get-unstuck/ (Art therapy site, and abstract woman painting)
https://onestopforwriters.com/ (One Stop for Writers)
https://www.artistsnetwork.com/art-mediums/acrylic/25-acrylic-paintings-25-top-artists/ (#24 Girl on the Couch by Diana Madaras)
Categories: Thoughts on writing...
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