Sunday, January 17, 2010

What happened?

It wasn't all that long ago that I used to jump out of bed every morning and head straight to the computer so that I could write. No matter how long I had worked the previous day or how tired I was from the night before, I wrote every single day. And loved it.

Lately, not so much. In fact, hardly at all. Not loving it. Not writing. I'm not sure why that is. I've been busier, less focused and more frustrated and still written. My excuse tends to be along the lines of catching up, other commitments and even industry disappointments.

I went to a writer's conference a few years ago with a reader friend who is an accountant. After three days of industry talks, of listening to writers discuss their craft and their business, she thought we were nuts. There was no financial incentive for us to continue writing. I won't tell you what she thought of how publishing works as a business. She was appalled; as much as my easy acceptance as at the entire industry. Believe me when I say it was a long and interesting car ride back to Canada.

NYT bestselling author Jennifer Crusie often says that the only control you have over this business is your writing. Once you send it in, it is literally out of your hands what happens next. Focus on the writing, make it the best damn thing you've ever written each and every time.

For whatever reason, my focus is shot. Maybe it's a combination of factors. Fear of success? Fear of failure? Both? Neither? Mental breakdown?

All I know is that either I get back to it or shut up about it.

I've always worked best when I'm accountable so I'm going to use twitter for the rest of the month for daily posts on my writing productivity. By this time next week I'll either have a substantial offering in revisions or a really fantastic excuse. 'cause my imagination still works. It's just my discipline that's missing.


  1. Hafta say I think writing uses a writing muscle. And like any other muscle, if you overuse it, it does not repair itself and recover so you can use it again.
    Methinks you should rest it up. Maybe ice it. (Ice counts even if it's in a margarita. Just sayin'.) Also watch movies, GET more sleep, and take road trips to the nearest Western ocean.

    unglusl -- German for 'becoming unglued because she was writing too much and partying too little -- I mean honestly, haven't you heard about how successful Brendan Behan was?'

  2. I think Ms. M has a good point. Maybe burning your candle at both ends has caught up with you at last. Get more sleep. Pet the cat more often. Read more books. Take better care of yourself, period.

    masre - it's French. It means Get more sleep. Pet the cat more often. Read more books. Take better care of yourself, period.