Facts of Life,  Work-In-Progress,  Writer's Block,  Writing Journey

Dramatic Creative Blockage Talk

GUYS! There’s a HOUSE OF FALLING EMBERS interview over at The Sunflower Scribbles. Go read it. 😀

So…real talk? Things have not gone very well creatively for me this year. I did write a book, and it’s out there, and all the love, and yada yada. But like, that book aside, I’ve been unhappy with literally everything else I’ve tried to write this year. I don’t know what’s been going on with me. I either didn’t want to write at all, or I’d write a few chapters and hate everything, or I’d write a few chapters and just not be excited. DON’T I NEED TO BE EXCITED?!

As you may or may not know, a couple of months ago, I decided to work on a companion sequel to NO REST FOR THE WICKED. I recently read over what I have – 3.5 chapters – and it’s fine. It just feels weird to me, and I’m stressed when I think about it. And yeah, that happens. Sometimes a writer looks at their work and they’re like, “wow, this is awful; let’s burn it.” But it wasn’t like that at all. I was reading over it, and I was like, “okay, this isn’t the crap pile I was expecting…let’s put it on a shelf and walk away.”

Excitement goes a long way, and while it’s there in spots, spotty excitement isn’t enough fuel.

Now, I’m of the belief, mostly, that there’s no such thing as the “wrong” project. There are only projects that will work out, projects that won’t, and projects that will work out later. So…I changed projects again. And again. For the literal umpteenth time this year. ^_^ (insert maniacal laughter here) At first, I was going to rewrite “Discord.” If you don’t remember it or never heard of it because you’re new here, the only important thing is that it’s a story from 2014 that I got a lot of great feedback on.

I mention that because sometimes I feel obligated to work on projects that other people like. It’s like getting a stamp of approval. “Oh, people will like this. I should work on it.” And frankly, I’ve never rewritten an entire story from scratch before. I really think it’ll be good for me. One day.

Long story short, I wracked my brain and drove myself nuts for two days, and finally came to the conclusion that it’s over and shelving it is the complete right thing to do.

In truth, I didn’t really want to rewrite that story. I just thought, if I was going to be miserable and unmotivated, I might as well, because at least then I’d have something writing-related to do. A girl needs to write, you know.

But that left me with “nothing” to write. So, I metaphorically and actually sobbed and told my sister that I have 200 ideas and nothing to work on. And my sister was like, “Do you really have 200 or do you just have 125?” Lol! Regardless. Of course, some of them can barely be considered an idea at all, but it’s a spark of something, and that counts. Haha.

So my sister suggested that I read through all my ideas and pick something – which is a task I’ve been avoiding for over a year, because, guys, when you have a bunch ideas, you do NOT want to read through all of them. Like, just the thought of it made me want to cry again.

But it’s like, that’s what I’ve been running away from, right? My own ideas. Why did I write them down if I wasn’t going to look at them again?!! Nothing else I’ve done this year to settle on a project has worked. I literally stumbled across the idea for my last book by accident. I really needed to do something different before I lost my mind.

So, I armed myself with a pen and paper – the bestest tools ever – and dived into the plot bunny field.

It wasn’t so bad. I mean, it took a couple of hours, but there are actually a lot of good ideas in there! So, I jotted down my current favorites and ended up with a list of almost 90. 😮

In any case, after a dinner break, I got fresh notebook paper, and culled that list down to 28 – picking the most exciting two to four ideas from every page (I had 9), provided they had an actual plot that I could see in my head without falling into an abyss or off a cliff. From there, I culled it down to 10 and then 7 and then 5 based on excitement levels and whatever had the least amount of plot holes.

It was here I decided to go to bed and sleep on it. We don’t want to make any rash decisions, you know. ^_^

Anywho, the next afternoon, I cut two more, because I could tell they need more baking. That left a rewrite of a Paranormal I wrote for NaNo in 2013, a Supernatural Horror that I’m still on the fence about (though plot wise it’s solid), and another Paranormal idea that’s been baking for an unknown amount of time.

More sleep, because decisions are hard. But I went to sleep with it narrowed down to the two Paranormals. At this point, I was tempted to try and work on them both, but we don’t want to do that, because…disaster.

Anyway, Day Three. Haha. I pick the second Paranormal, because I feel like if I don’t write it now I’ll die, and the other one, though super shiny, can wait.

This entire process is about getting off the crazy train I’ve been on since last year. Therefore, there is no current deadline for the work-in-progress, because I’m in dire need of some recalibration before I run my creative self ragged. I’m not trying to have a mental breakdown. And unlike my last couple of projects, I don’t get the feeling that this will be easy to write. I’ve had to do actual research. 😛 The things we do for love. 💜


  • Tonja Drecker

    I understand the ‘not feeling’ the writing this year. I’m working on something I just can’t get into the way I’d like but my son is loving it. And the other three…four…ugh. It is hard. Hope this one is your writing home for now!

  • Michelle Athy

    I have two stories I’m supposedly working on, but all I want to do is sleeeeppp. I really do have a hard time concentrating on writing for a lengthy period of time, I’ve noticed–like the excitement level dies down and YouTube beckons…

  • Jodi Leigh

    I loved reading about the process you went through to decide the focus for your next WIP. Brings so much realization to the fact that sometimes we writers have to work for our ideas! I can’t wait to see how all of this pans out.

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