I don’t really experience writer’s block per se. I might get stuck on a scene here or there, but if I manage to sit down to write I can usually knock out at least five hundred words. It may not be what I’m supposed to be working on (like when I was doing the second draft of the novel and ended up writing about six short stories at the same time…), but I can generally write something if I just put my mind to it.
(Not to say that it’s always genius, because sometimes it’s pure dreck, but putting words on a page aren’t really my issue.)
Unfortunately, the last week or so I’ve just been feeling unwilling to write. (I don’t count the blog- this is just me spouting random thoughts and opinions into the ether and I can ALWAYS do that.)
It’s not an issue of having ideas. I have two short stories in progress that I think will be really, really good if I can just bring myself to write them. (You know, the kinds other people might actually enjoy reading as opposed to the ones I enjoyed writing that are too slow or meandering for anyone else.)
So, I’m not blocked, but I find myself unwilling to sit down and do it. So, I’m calling it writer’s ennui. A sort of shapeless, formless, meh feeling.
Maybe it’s the remains of jet lag. Or the ultra hot temperatures. Or all the family/house gunk I have to handle now that I’m “home.”
Or maybe it’s a certain creeping twitchiness about the whole writing thing. Methinks the honeymoon is over and the romance has settled into the “this is hard work that takes continued dedication” phase. And I’ve caught those little glimpses that it’s not all puppies and rainbows out there.
It’s like any new job. You start and it’s all exciting and there are new co-workers to meet and things to learn and everything seems wonderful and fantastic. And then you get a little further in and that one co-worker turns out to be the biggest gossip on the planet and your boss turns out to be ineffectual (fortunately, rare in my personal experience, but brutal when it happened) and you realize that your job is 90% drudgery and 10% excitement and that the secretary is sleeping with the sales manager and…yeah.
Maybe that’s it. Or maybe I just needed to finish that best-seller I was complaining about the other day, which I finally did last night. And now I need a day or two to clear it out of my mind before I’ll feel inspired to work on my own stories again.
Or maybe I just need time for things to percolate. The two story ideas are ones I really, really want to get right. And I know I’m just not quite there yet. And I don’t want to ruin them by forcing them.
So, ennui. It happens sometimes. I just can’t let it continue too, too long. Because ennui can be a good thing in small batches, but in big batches it can lead to walking away and that is seldom the right answer.
(And I promise you that the rabbit in the picture was not harmed. According to his owners, he needs to be shaved regularly or he’ll overheat and die. And he just chills out in the little set-up and lets them shave him as if it’s nothing at all.)