Writing When The Words Won’t Come

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down in front of my computer to write and succumbed to the overwhelming fear that I have nothing to say. It’s a thing. The struggle is real.

I’m working on book two of my series and despite having a good outline and plot, the words escape me. Or rather I let fear push them away. *sigh*

It never used to be this way. I used to write entire novels in a month, racking up 1,667 words a day without hesitation. And now…. and now, I can’t seem to even write 16 words a day.

I could give you a whole list of “reasons” why I’ve fallen into this slump, but those reasons are more like excuses. The simple fact is that I’ve let fear in and the bastard won’t leave.

Last week I managed about 3,000 words spread over two days. Not nearly enough. This week (it’s Thursday) I’ve written zero words towards my novel. ZERO. I’ve written blog posts, which is good, but not exactly helping me to finish the novel.

I know what I need to do, and yet I can’t seem to do it. The longer I leave it, the harder it is to find my way back. I feel sick just writing about it. I think about all the words I could have written this year, this month, this week and I want to cry. I dig deep and rely on my coaching roots to pull myself up, but right now I feel so damn fragile that anything, and I mean anything, can set me off my writing course. My brain is focused on the ‘perfect conditions’ for writing, which is a stupid, fricking myth, and I know it! But stupid brain *pokes brain* is pig-headed and stubborn and won’t listen.

*bangs head against wall*

I tweeted that a few days ago and a lovely writer friend replied with this…

accurate

Because the struggle is real and she didn’t even need context.

I know I need to start small and build up to daily writing. I know that any amount of words is better than none. I know that the only way to push forward, is to PUSH FORWARD.

So why am I still stuck?

There’s a very good article here that makes a lot of sense. I think for me the stakes just aren’t high enough. It’s why I’ve always done so well during NaNoWriMo. Finish a novel of 50,000 words in November and compete against others? Yes, please!

So now I need to figure out how to replicate that feeling. Because I’m hooked on that feeling.

And now for your obligatory music related reference.

Oh and check out Angela Lynn’s debut novel All The What Ifs because it is AWESOME!


Featured image courtesy of Drew Coffman via Flickr

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8 thoughts on “Writing When The Words Won’t Come

  1. There are two pieces in this that I think you need to take a look at:

    This sentence:

    “Last week I managed about 3,000 words spread over two days. Not nearly enough.”

    And then your entire paragraph:

    “I know what I need to do, and yet I can’t seem to do it. The longer I leave it, the harder it is to find my way back. I feel sick just writing about it. I think about all the words I could have written this year, this month, this week and I want to cry. I dig deep and rely on my coaching roots to pull myself up, but right now I feel so damn fragile that anything, and I mean anything, can set me off my writing course. My brain is focused on the ‘perfect conditions’ for writing, which is a stupid, fricking myth, and I know it! But stupid brain *pokes brain* is pig-headed and stubborn and won’t listen.”

    First of – 3,000 words over 2 days IS enough, it’s actually quite a lot – so why have you decided it isn’t?

    And the other paragraph is you beating yourself up, not being a friend to yourself.

    You say you have a list of reasons, but have decided they are excuses. I am hearing someone not being gentle with themselves, putting themselves under pressure, and having high expectations of themselves.

    You need to sit back and ask yourself why you are doing this? Not the writing, but putting yourself under so much pressure. Do you have a deadline? Is your life depending on this writing? and since when wasn’t blog writing a form of writing and expressing?

    Have you considered that maybe you need some time out. You have done an awful lot this last year, things have been turbulent, with starting jobs, finishing jobs, moving house, then deciding to go traveling and then getting back and having to start again. Maybe you need to give yourself a break in the expectations department. And also maybe you need to write something new. Maybe you aren’t ready to return to the Reaper Chronicles yet – maybe you aren’t feeling excited about that story at the moment, maybe it feels like going over old ground. And that’s okay. And maybe you don’t have to write a whole other novel. Maybe you need to start something new – and it might not even be in the realm of writing. Maybe something else creative for a while.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t compare yourself to a time in the past, give yourself room.

    Hugs

    PS. Angela Lynn – and her book All the What Ifs are BOTH fabulous and love them dearly.
    PPS. And so are you, and yours. 😉

    1. Awe Miranda, you’re the best! Thank you for pointing those points out. You’re right, I’m being uber hard on myself. Some days are harder than others and yesterday when I wrote this, it was a difficult day. Thankfully I’ve decided to change gears and I actually ended up writing 2,074 words yesterday after writing this post! Woot! And, as you know, I’ve started a YouTube channel which I’m sure will bring new life to my creativity. Thanks a bunch, hun. Big squishy hugs!

  2. It’s obvious how important your writing is to you because you found the courage to blog openly and honestly about your current struggle. Whether in your books or on your blog, you will write your way through the dark times and come back out the other side.

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