Thursday, 26 April 2012

... becalmed ...

I'm not writing very much at the moment. I'm about halfway through a new draft of an old story, Sick Leave (which is about the plague, and scary kids, and things we don't face up to in the darkness) but I've only managed a few hundred words on it this week.

I don't believe in writer's block as such. If you encounter it, I think the best thing to do is just sit and force yourself to write something, anything. Get something down, and then look at what you've written the next day and if it's shit... well, you can rewrite shit. Or bin it. But this way of writing - of working damnit - takes effort, takes a lot more energy than those times when the words come effortlessly and writing seems so easy; fun even. These things come in cycles, but unfortunately sometimes the periods when you really need to roll up your sleeves and put some elbow grease into your writing sometimes coincide with the times when real life is tough too. Not dramatic, not scary - I'm alright. But tough and tiring and draining. Now is one of those times, and so Sick Leave is progressing in fits and starts.

Logically of course such a time would be a good one to get caught up on some reading, on some blog posts, on some submissions of stories. But they all use the same part of my brain, the same enthusiasm, as the writing itself. I feel the same weariness attempting any of them. TV and Playstation it is then.

I feel somewhat listless, but restless too, like sailors on a becalmed ship.

It will pass, as all such things do; the sails will fill with air and the words will come again, and looking back on this becalmed period it will seem as unrealistic and implausible as the idea that I'll ever write something quickly and with ease does to me now. But for now, I am drifting.

On another, more positive note, I can announce that my story Snow is to appear in the Pulp Ink 2 anthology which will be published by Snubnose Press. It's edited by Chris Rhatigan and Nigel Bird and you can find the announcement and full line up of authors here.

Regular readers (hello!) may recall I've posted about Snow before, and the curse that seemed to be attached to the story, causing inevitable misfortune to any publication or anthology that I submitted it to. I speculated then that maybe the only way for the curse to be lifted was for the story to be accepted by someone.

So I'm pleased to say it looks like the nightmare is finally over.

Or is it...?


Anonymous said...

I can write when I am blocked, but like you there is little joy in it. I find I can write non fiction when the spark goes out. But right now, I keep getting bogged down in the "why am I bothering" kind of mess. When a book that started as a BDSM fan fic of Twilight is selling a copy a second, it makes folks like me wonder whether there really is a market for what I write.
Just keep on keeping on, that's the only way.

Cate Gardner said...

Congrats on the sale and I hope you're writing mojo returns soon.