Friday, October 9, 2015

I'm losing it.

I’ve written dribs and drabs. I’ve constructed sentences that I’m proud of. For the most part, I’ve made a thing that I’m happy with. The third try at Cassidy is the closest yet to what I started out envisioning. I’m not bored, or tired, or distracted.

What am I, then? Why is it that as I get nearer to being good I get farther from wanting to continue it?

I have a long reading list. Several books checked out from the library, and they’re ebooks, so when they expire they just... go away. I want to read them, but I’m currently reading a much longer, much heavier sci-fi book that is also commanding all of my love and interest.

After I finished Becky’s feedback letter, I had a strong feeling of liberation. Finally, I could work on my own writing! Something changed during the long break wherein I didn’t think much about Cassidy, so that when I came back to it, it wasn’t at all onorous. I had somehow managed to recapture the feeling of writing for myself, the way you do when you’re a kid and being creative is just a thing you do, no matter how anyone reacts. I wrote 2,542 words, in quick succession. Everything felt like an increase in freedom, rather than a decrease. But then, it sorta... petered out.

I’ve had a lot of things happen in my personal life: pets adjacent to me dying, foster kittens aging out, and my own personal pets having medical problems. I’ve had a lot on my plate, and a severe deficit of energy to devote to anything that isn’t self-care. The remembered feeling of goodness hasn’t been enough to bring back my desire to write. But what’s worse: I also haven’t really felt bad about that fact.

The downside to dry spells is that gnawing feeling of guilt of a job left unfinished. It brings me back, again and again, because my characters get antsy and don’t want to be ignored. But this time... I’ve felt nothing. I want that nasty guilt. I want to feel compelled to go back. And right now, I don’t.

So I’m fishing in my pool of readers. What can I do to get reinvigorated? How can I make Cassidy matter again? I want to want to. Gimme your magic writing sparkles.

Word count: 5,820 (ᚼ)


Anonymous said...

This might not be the advice you want but... this might be time to trust in the law of undulations and your own desire to be creative.

I'm fairly certain, since you're a creative person, that the desire to work on Cassidy hasn't deserted you entirely. There's just no drive at the moment? My opinion: it'll come back when it comes back. Writing Cassidy has just... dropped in priority for you for now, and you're not stressed about that drop in priority. For me, when a project drops in priority, it's because my brain is going through its fallow cycle on the way back to fruitful, and you might just need to trust yourself that your drive will come back.

To kickstart your drive (not your guilt, because I am not a fan of guilt, sorry~) there are a few things I'd recommend:

1) Regular Butt-in-chair Time. Like meeting friends to write (hehe, so jealous!), or kitten nap hour once every other day. Don't guilt yourself into Cassidy, but give yourself the opportunity. I know regular butt-in-chair time is what I always say, but this is def. more of a mental shift thing. Opportunity for your drive to kick in rather than forcing yourself to write because reasons.
2) Regular Thinking Time. If you drive a place, earmark your story to think about while you're puttering through traffic. Or kick up your train of thought while you're in the shower, or doing something else physical that doesn't take a lot of brain-power. Or, heck, prod your mental hamster onto their wheel when you're sitting in a chair, maybe with a pad of drawing paper or a notebook. Don't write, just think. Maybe - if you've got paper - scribble. Get your story at the front of your thoughts so that you're building up steam for when you sit down again.
2) Consume like a crazywoman. Read everything you can get your hands on that you think sounds interesting or fun or whatever. Whenever I've lost my drive, it usually means my brain is hungry, and when I start processing through new material, my brain starts back-drawing parallels and working out snarls I didn't even know were there. Let your brain omnomnom all the things.


Becky Munyon said...

Have you read over your last draft lately? Sometimes all I have to do is read a chapter or two of something I haven't worked on in a while and I get all excited about it again. I'm not saying read it to analyze it, but pick it up and read it for enjoyment.
Or maybe your brain is trying to tell you that it wants to write, but needs a break form Cassidy. You could try some shorter projects just to give yourself a Cassidy break.