The Writer Blues

It’s not something I clearly hear about from others, but it is something we (writer’s) often feel and can relate to. We all get down once in a while and wonder about our choice of painful career, putting down one word after another. It’s a difficult, exhausting effort. We exert so much energy into our writing, much of which is unseen by those around us.

There could be many reasons why a writer might get the blues, but the effects of it remains the same. Writer blues inhibits the creative “juices”, the voice, the imagination, and the will to live (on paper).

I’m on the other side of the writer blues. I’m not out of it, but I am coming up from it. The move across the country, setting up house, making new friends, and keeping up on the same tasks as always, it all made it difficult to sit down and focus on writing. I didn’t realize the course this inactivity would take, and I ended up with the writer blues.

I didn’t feel like writing anymore. I had time on my hands when Michael took his afternoon nap, but I filled it with either watching some TV or Pinterest. Or, I filled it with catching up on the business side of things when it got piled up. I’d sometimes think about writing, but then brush it off, thinking that either I wasn’t in the mood or that it would take too long to re-familiarize myself with my worlds. And, which story would I focus on this time? I felt too bored to make that decision.

So more Doctor Who, and more browsing on the Geek section on Pinterest.

How do you break the blues, anyway? I’m not sure how I did, but I think this had something to do with it: I stopped saying “should” to myself. I should get some writing done. I should clean up my house before I sit and write. I should do something useful first, like browse the organization and recipe section on Pinterest. I should make it look like I did something today, other than keep the child alive. I should take advantage of having a few hours to myself and catch up on Once Upon A Time.

All these should do’s really does a number on personal motivation. It does the opposite of what I might want it to do; it makes me feel sloppy, disorganized, and lazy. It raises the level of expectation of myself ever higher, so that I can’t even hope to reach it.

Once I learned to stop saying “I should”, and began to see everything as “optional, but not at all determinate of your worth as a human being”, I felt the Expectation Shackles loosen. Suddenly, writing began to look more pleasurable and not like a guilt trap.

I have not gone back to writing yet. I’ve decided what I wanted to do (right now); begin revising NaNoWriMo’s 2011 story. I remembered that I had printed the first chapter and red marked a few pages already, but alas, I can only find pages 2 and 3, and then 6-14. I am nearly certain that when Michael tried helping me edit some pages went missing.

So, while I search for these missing pages and then mourn over their disappearance (and then be in dread of trying to edit it once more), what hobby, interest, or passion have you put to the sidelines? Have you found your way back into the figurative arms of your love, or are you still not on speaking terms with it?

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