Snow days

It's snowing heavily here, coming down at the rate of an inch an hour. It's thrown off the schedules of everyone, cancelling schools, closing businesses and (for me) postponing things I had planned for today. This unexpected disruption in my schedule prompts me to wonder about the writing that I'm not doing, that I've told myself I've put on hiatus for awhile. Yes, I'm focused on adjusting my life to my new job, but it feels like more than that. I'm feeling increasingly alienated from the writing life.

Was it really only last September that I published "Verbosity's Vengeance"? It feels like something done by someone else. Looking at the Amazon page for it, I try to recapture the anxiety over flat sales and plummeting sales ranks, but all I can come up with is tired sadness. It's hard to shake the feeling that the book exists only in my mind, an experience for me to learn from, not as a product to be promoted or purchased.

I pull out the first draft of my WIP and barely recognize it. It's page after page of turgid, fractured, meandering nonsense. The notes in the margins on how to fix it are mine; the handwriting is mine, so the notes must be, too. What's needed is a complete overhaul, not simple revisions. Where is the energy and enthusiasm for this work? Where is the joy? Is it still a work in progress if you don't want to do the work? And if the work seems to have no more point or purpose than shoveling water? What then?

It takes a lot of energy to be a writer, and even more to pretend to be a writer. As the snow falls and the cold settles over the world, I'm left to wonder if, having run out of that energy, I've also lost the ability (or the will) to recharge it.

||| Comments are welcome |||
Help keep the words flowing.


  1. I know you're looking for encouragement here, and this is going to sound counterproductive, but if you don't love the story, why are you writing it? Maybe it's not what you want to be writing RIGHT NOW. Maybe you need a little distance. I'm not telling you to stop writing or to drop a WIP just because you hit a bump in the road, but if you truly just don't like it, how do you expect your readers to?

    That said, if it IS just a bump, you've had your hiatus so jump back on the wagon and get rolling! Or sometimes, when I'm a bit stuck, I'll write some 6 minute flash at the sixminutestory site to get my creative juices flowing. Post a book review. SOMETHING, just to get back in that flow. A hiatus is fine, as long as it's not a permanent one. ;)

    Besides, we all miss your Friday Flash too!

    1. I don't know what I'm looking for here. This project is something I'd been itching to do for years. Now, having done the first draft, I'm wondering if it will be another novel like V.V. - something pretty good, but so quirky no one will want to read it. That, in turn, makes me wonder if that's all I'm capable of writing. If my books will remain unread, I might as well save myself the heartache of months (or years) of effort. And THAT, in turn, makes me wonder if I should bother with writing anything at all.

    2. The first draft of every story you write is for you, no one else. Don't worry about whether other people will see it or not. What's important is that you write what you need to. Does that make sense? :)

  2. Your not alone in the way you feel, I look at my own three books and sometimes wonder why I bothered. It does take a lot of energy to be a writer. But finding the joy is what gives inspiration. I go back to writing flash and forget about writing books and I find the joy returns for me. I hope it returns for you too.

    I shared an article today on my fb page "Most books don't sell' - it's true.

  3. Start something new. Even if you never finish it, or intend it for publication, the sheer effort of putting words down, one after the other, might help rekindle your love for it. Email me if you want a chat.


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