photo by Aisog
As much as I'd like to think this makes my writing invincible, it is not so.
Like any other offer, there are the "ordinary" challenges of time, energy, and and health, all of which can wreak havoc upon the ability to properly chase a project. More than those, though, what makes my writing really start to become a shore is when my own emotions are strong are conflicted.
I've written many times about how I approach writing by getting into character and more or less roleplaying them or acting them out on paper. It's great for voice, development, and reader experience. But when my own emotions battling for my attention, it's much more difficult to be able to drown them out with my characters.
This is something that I have to work on. Right now, Sublimation is very close to being finished, but I'm really struggling with the middle of the end. The end is written. The beginning and middle are written. The middle of the end is a jumbled up skeleton. And getting it into shape is really a beat right now, because of the "intrusion" of my outside life.
Once I have a book contract, that's not going to fly. While I do respond well to deadlines, it will require some major tinkering with my internal writing process. After all, you don't tell your publisher, "Sorry, things at the day job are weighing me down, and there's some other stuff going on that I'm trying to sort through." It's not an option. Professionals push through and perform anyway.
I'm not yet sure how to make it work, how to find that switch when a psychological fog prevents me from seeing it clearly.
But I'll try to distill my experience down to some takeaways that you might think about.
- No matter what your system or approach, it will break down sometimes. Every writer needs to be aware of this, and every professional writer needs to have a way to manage their writing projects when it happens.
- It's not easy to treat your writing like a job when you have another job. We all know this, but I think sometimes it's also an elephant in the room, like we're ashamed to admit it's a struggle. Well, it is a struggle, and there's no point in acting tough about it.
- Just as you should never depend on external motivators and evaluators for your writing, you can't depend entirely on internal strength either, for it comes and goes. At some point, something else may have to pull you through, if it's truly important that you get through.
What do you guys think? What do you do when when your invincible system breaks down? When your immortal muse gets its head lopped off?
Soundtrack for writing this post provided by Queen.