Sunday, May 15, 2011


This story is kicking my ass.

Click to play the video on YouTube.
Actually SEVERAL stories are kicking my ass.

Spring is usually a good time for me to write and be creative, or at least it has been over the last couple of years. I could blame it on the day job, but all that's done is get easier in some ways and more difficult in some ways. Par for the course. It seems like there's more there than before but it may just be that I'm paying attention more closely.

I could blame it on buying a house, and that's certainly a lot of stress but it's also motivation for writing more. I suppose it could be more pressure than I'm recognizing to finish one story that's long overdue or it could be an agglomeration of those things and more.

I've tried starting two other stories that have been on my mind just to try and clear the cobwebs out and get the juices flowing. I've tried plotting further on the novel I started last November. I've gone for walks, I've drunk inordinate amounts of whiskey. I've ignored everything and vegged out in front of the tube. I've gone back to edit other stories that I should have out on the street because we're buying a house and money's something we're going to need more of.

Nada. Hangovers don't help writing, no matter how much Papa said alcohol lubricates the brain. (I'm not sure Hemingway ever encouraged drinking amongst writers. It sounds like him, though.)

I've come to the conclusion that The Work Simply Must Be Done. Butt in chair, fingers on keys, it's Time to Write. Stop worrying and just do it, right?

It's not that simple though. Is it?


S.L. Pierce said...

No it's not that simple. For me it means giving up evenings (I stay home with young kids who don't give me even 5 uninterrupted minutes to think. Evenings where I'm tired and I just want to watch TV and eat a treat. So I say tomorrow for sure because (some dumb reason I would somehow get time, which never happens). What I've started doing is telling myself I'm just going to write half an hour then I can go watch TV. Sometimes its half an hour and sometimes it turns into two hours.
If your uninspired - try what I do and that is write something that you have no intention of ever showing anyone. I'm inhibited so I let that stop my writing. This one actually words pretty well. I don't stop and think 'is this working?' I just type.

Prospective Writer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prospective Writer said...

I've been suffering from some pretty bad Writer's Block lately myself. I can't find a reason for it either, and some days it's really tough to make yourself write when you don't feel like it. The good news is, I've found these slumps never last. You'll break through it soon, I'm sure :)

Melissa J. Lytton said...

First off, congrats on home ownership!

Damn if I haven't been having a lot of the same problems. The only thing I've found to work is using a timer to break things down into manageable chunks. I downloaded an egg timer app on my phone, and I set it for 30 minutes and then just work. Next 30 minutes, I do whatever I feel like doing. Rinse and repeat. It makes tasks feel less daunting because, hey, in half an hour I don't have to look at it anymore. Maybe it'd work for you too? Either way, I know you'll figure it out. And remember, you have friends who are proud of everything you've accomplished thus far!

Jason Arnett said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. I think I'm back on track now.

S.L. - That's worked for me a lot in the past but didn't work this time, at least not until I'd tried everything else again. All the demands on one's time can pile up quickly.

Sara - Thanks for the encouragement. I might've broken through it a little quicker if I'd actually called it Writer's Block.

Melissa - Thanks! Knowing I've got your support really does help me think hard about ways to get around the problems.

For everyone: I've downloaded the FocusBooster app and that's working pretty well as a timer both at home and for work.

I think writing this post helped me make some sense of what I was struggling with but all your comments definitely pushed me forward. I really appreciate you taking the time to say something!