Getting Through The Writing Drought
By virtue of the holiday season, I have been doing little else but crochet and cook these last few days, leading to a whopping 0 progress in fiction.
I’m starting to get twitchy.
It’s not that I don’t love the holidays, my family, tradition, all those things. It’s not that taking a break might, in fact, be a pretty good idea; it is more than that. I need a break, but I’m not willing to let it go without a good share of bitching and moaning.
Since the youngest of ages, wandering around the playground clutching notebooks scrawled with imaginary worlds and adventures, I have sought out fiction as therapy. It’s become more than habit, it’s compulsion. Some days it borders on obsession, on addiction. Sure, that sounds terribly dark, but at least it’s productive. For years, writing was my secret, something I did apart from everyone else, my own silent center. Then, I started seeking out friends to help me, to come into my world to see if it held up. For a long stretch, I needed approval to keep writing, and eventually that left me with a very shaky foundation, because I didn’t believe in myself unless someone did…
I digress. The last few years have been remarkable, the last year the most exciting. I’m stubborn as hells, as Professor might say, when it comes to getting my work out there and treating my fiction writing like a job, keeping at it. I’ve been so stubborn that when I can’t actually get to it, I get very antsy.
But it’s okay to step back, I keep telling myself. It’s okay to take a break, to do other stuff that doesn’t include opening up Scrivener. But it’s a lot harder than I thought. As odd as it seems, I’m not sleeping well. My dreams are riddled with adventures, so much to the point that I’ve been waking up between them, mulling about them, and having a hard time going back to dreamland. It may be unconnected, but my dreamlife isn’t usually this exciting. Perhaps my misfiring brain is on the search for creativity, having not been able to find it as usual.
At any rate, there is a chance that over the next week or so, I’ll have virtually no chance to write. I rather like the idea of waiting until the New Year, taking a breather, and starting new. Blank slate, new goals, new approach. Or, since the last approach worked so well, the same old approach. Just a different view.
“There isn’t any turning back after this, Brickley,” said Sir Gawen. “You forsake all other ties, all other pledges, all other oaths.” The red giant of a knight had his hat off, tucked in the crook of his shoulder, and his eyes were focused on the horizon, now blushing pink in the sunset.
“I don’t reckon I swore any oaths,” Brick replied, sighing.
“You swear oaths you don’t even know, sometimes,” said Gawen, reaching up to replace his hat and smooth out his long red mustache. “And you carry them around with you wherever you go.”
- —From The Aldersgate: Chapter Thirteen: Initiation Rites