Writing Journey

Life & Lemons

I give up. I’ve been trying to write a post about why I don’t want to talk about writing, but I think I’ll just be straightforward.

It has nothing to do with the state of the world. I had a long overdue public meltdown about writing crap at the beginning of the year. Though, honestly, while I know it isn’t true, I’ve been feeling very much like I’m not allowed to be upset about anything. This mentality might actually be making everything worse.

So here I am. Complaining about writing again. I’m not apologizing for it.

There are a lot of things I’m dealing with right now. I’d rather not add writing issues to the pile, but it’s not like I need that energy for writing.

While I was self-publishing, I kept burning myself out. It wasn’t how much I was writing. It might be how much I was editing. I think it’s a combination of writing a lot, editing a lot, doing a bunch of “business stuff” that I’m horrible at, and not getting enough sleep – at the same time. It wasn’t right for me, I could feel that, and I kept charging forward anyway because I didn’t want to quit or give up.

The first time I crashed I was able to get the proverbial car back on the road. But after the last time, the car is totaled. I needed an entirely new car! Do I even want to program writing into this car?

It’s like having to get back on the road again after some crazy lady forced you to choose between getting hit broadside or going into a ditch. True story.

I didn’t know if I wanted to drive anymore.

I don’t know if I want to write anymore.

I feel like I can choose, for probably the first time in my life, whether I want to be a person who creates stories.

Maybe I’ll try to be a poet.

I know burnouts can take awhile to recover from. It’s possible I’m still in the fallout. But I don’t think I’m burned out anymore. I think I just don’t want to write anymore. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. I’m not declaring that I’ll never write again. All I wanted to do was get on here and say that I won’t be talking about writing for a while.

For whatever reason, I tend to read a lot of triggering things on purpose. I feel like it’s cathartic or something. But when people trigger my writing issues, I either get angry or break down into tears. I know it’s dramatic, but writing has always been super important to me. Maybe too important. And maybe I’m paying for that now. Or maybe I’d feel better if I wrote something.

I just don’t want to write stories that sit on my computer and do nothing. I don’t want to write “just for the fun of it.” My intention was always to share the better stories and trash the rest. There are a lot of things I can do for fun that don’t require me to stare at a screen for several hours and drive myself crazy.

But like I said, no declarations are being made. I’m just in a non-writing season. And in the meantime, I’m probably just going to talk about books for a while. So if no one cares about the blog anymore because it gets too random, I understand. I like blogging. I’ll still be here. A one-woman show. Audience or no audience. Reading hundreds of books in the background because stories still make me happy. 🙂

8 Comments

  • Michelle Athy

    So I feel like I’m getting back into reading finally and I was writing most of the year–my friend called it the COVID Fanfic Saga because I was writing and sharing it with them during lockdown. I have plot bunnies, but no brain space right now to think about them. I’m writing my thesis this semester, so brain space is mostly occupied with that plus the general state of the world plus the fact that fanfictions are so delightfully easy to write.

    Maybe you need to fill your well. Maybe you need to try out different types of writing. Maybe you just need to read. *shrugs* it happens. You can’t make writing your entire world. I remember reading once in a writing craft book–forcing writing, your craft, art, whatever–to be the center of your universe puts pressure on it. And putting pressure on something that can be a bit of a seesaw like creative writing can be precarious. Or something like that. I’m paraphrasing.

    It’s not my blog’s been about writing in a long time!

    • Krystal Jane

      You definitely need brain space for thesis writing! I don’t know how people do it. I read a blog post several years by an author (getting her masters) who said writing shouldn’t be our entire world, in response to people who were badgering her for taking a break from writing, and I was SO offended by that. But she was right, wasn’t she?

      I think I need a combination of all of the above: filling the well, reading some different things, and doing something different with writing if the urge strikes. There’s some quote: monotony leads to being stuck and uninspired or something. 🙂

  • Thea Landen

    I won’t be patronizing and fill your comments section with stuff like “You can do it! You’ll get back on that horse! Take a break, do XYZ, and you’ll be good to go!” and so on.

    Writing sucks a lot of the time. Well, maybe not the actual writing part, but like you said, the editing, the marketing, the other little things that no one ever warns you about. And honestly, a lot of times it’s a big timesuck for very little reward. I mean, if you (general you) are the type of person who’s all “I write for myself and no one else! I just love the art of writing and don’t care if anyone else ever reads my words!” and so on, cool, you do you. When I write fiction/books, yes, my end goal is to have people read it and hopefully tell me they like it, or at least that it wasn’t totally terrible. I don’t think it makes me less of an artist to plainly state that. And beyond just putting the damn words on the page, getting to that point is a slog and a half.

    So, if it’s no longer fun for you, I don’t think you should feel any guilt about putting it to the side, whether it’s for a week or forever or something in between. Passions and hobbies change all the time! There’s plenty of stuff I loved doing in the past and barely do now, and vice versa. It’s tough when a hobby or activity is something people describe as “being productive” because there’s some value judgment there, but meh, life’s short. Do what makes you happy.

    Whatever else is going on, I hope it resolves in a favorable way. <3

    • Krystal Jane

      Yes! No one ever talks about all that other stuff! There’s so much emphasis on the writing part and it’s like, what do we do when we’re done? And you’re definitely not less of an artist for wanting to share your work.

      It’s so crazy that there’s “value judgment” on how we spend our time! I’ve never thought of it like that.

      Thanks. I’m trying to be patient with everything.

  • Jodi Leigh

    Writing is one long homework assignment that you’ve assigned yourself…no one expects you to do it except for you. That being said, it definitely sounds like it’s time to give yourself permission to quit. You need to feel that burden lifted from your shoulders. Figure out who you are and what kind of things you love when writing is taken out of the equation; then, someday down the road, write again if and when it feels right. I did a version of that when I first started writing Black Lilies. I got about 20% through and had a meltdown. I realized I was writing out of obsession, not love, and it was bringing me no joy. At that time I declared that I wasn’t going to finish the series, and I meant it. But two years later, with that pressure no longer on my shoulders, I picked up my draft out of curiosity, and suddenly I was writing again. This time it felt good, and it actually made me happy.

    Life’s too short to make yourself miserable over things you think you *should* be doing.

    • Krystal Jane

      I remember that. 🙂 It takes strength to set down projects like that, especially when there were people wanting to know how the series would end. I definitely don’t want to write because I think I should or because I feel like it’s the only way I’m going to feel fulfilled in life. That’s what I want to do: figure out how to be stable without writing, so that if I write again, I won’t keep falling apart if it doesn’t go well.

  • Kristy A.

    It’s completely okay for you to be upset about whatever you want. It doesn’t matter what else is going on in the world or with other people. It’s YOUR life. You can be upset about anything you want. Don’t stay upset 😉 but you’re allowed to be upset.

    When I burned myself out with writing, I didn’t write at all for several years. We live in a society that monetizes everything. If we’re not making money we feel like we’re wasting our time. We’re not but we feel that way. At the same time, a lot of artists want to share their work with other people. There’s nothing wrong with that either.

    When you’re burned out, even thinking can be taxing. Sometimes we just need a break. A real break. Documents closed. Notebooks down. 🙂

    • Krystal Jane

      I need to hear that. That it’s okay to be upset. ^_^ I do think about business coaches sometimes, how they reduce things that don’t make money to hobbies, but they say it like a hobby is inferior to a real business venture. Like it has less value. I want to work on not caring about that.

      I did finally take my composition book out of my work bag and put it back on the shelf.

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