Where Have All the Words Gone?

This is something I've never had to deal with before and its freaking me out.

Here I sit with my computer before me all ready to lay down the words that have been living inside my mind for the past four weeks. I'm ready to give a voice to the dark haired man with eyes that flash a vibrant blue at unsuspecting women causing extreme confusion and frantic calls to optometrists.

Yet, here I sit. I'm staring at the blank page with that cursed black cursor and nothing is happening. Nothing. I can't think about how to start the story but yet, I do. Are you confused yet? Because I sure am.

I've been talking about the opening scene and following chapters so much lately that the words should just be pouring out of me. I've set the opening up in my head that I can see it right now. However, when I go to put my thoughts into words nothing is fitting.

I've tried just writing hoping that the words will just come to me; that I just need a kick start. It didn't work. I felt the writing was so bad it was distracting me. In fact, everything is distracting me.

The woman blowing her nose so loudly that I'm waiting for an elephant to come charging in looking for his mate is distracting me. I'm thinking about how I just spent $115 at Old Navy and how I need to return some things before Sparky finds out.

But what I'm really thinking about is that I'm not good enough.  I'm thinking I'm fooling myself into believing that I can do this.

I really hate thinking this way. So, before I started writing this post I tried writing little exercises to get the juices flowing. Its like the well has run dry. How is that possible?

Like I said, I dream about this story but when it comes time to writing I freeze.

Am I putting too much pressure on myself to write?  Am I comparing myself to other writer's and their writing habits? Is it because I can't write everyday I feel I'll never be where they are?

The answer to all three is “yes.”

I just want to be good, who doesn't? I just want the confidence to write my story without comparing myself to others. I used to write for me, I don't know when I stopped, but I did. And it sucks.

But I'll keep trying. If I don't these characters will never leave me alone; which is good. Somebody needs to give me a swift kick in the butt. Too much complaining and not enough writing, right?

Do you ever get into a funk with your writing? How do you get out of it? Do you keep on writing every day no matter what comes out of it, or do you allow yourself to take a break now and then?

5 responses to “Where Have All the Words Gone?”

  1. I think every writer gets in a funk some days. I also think there is a lot of pressure on the opening of a new story. As you said on HCWW, we are constantly bombarded with advice on everything under the sun. The importance of the opening is regularly stressed as the most important thing in the book.
    Personally, if i get in a funk, I will take a day or two off. I find that the characters voices will bring me back to it within a few days.
    If I keep writing, I find that what (little) does come out is so labored I need to go back and rewrite it before I can go on. I am better just stepping away for a bit.

  2. It is frustrating. I guess I'm of the same frame of mind you are in regards to stepping away for a bit. I've tried writing when I feel this way and I'm never happy with it that I get so disgusted I end up walking away in the end. I have to remember that I'm still new to this, still creating a routine that works for me. Its just taking longer than I had hoped.

  3. This sounds all too familiar.. can I do it? Am I good enough? Who will want to read it any way? Thanks for the reminder that we are not alone. It is a great affirmation!
    In answer to the questions you pose, I go back to writing a piece for my journal when this happens. Then I always have the option of research – which is productive and helps me move forward. My other option is to take a break and work in my garden.. but I have to be careful not get lost out there… in the wilds..

  4. Thanks so much for stopping by, Michelle!

    It is nice to know that everybody goes through time like these. Writing hasn't been going well for me lately and I'd always feel guilty about taking a break. However, sitting and staring at the screen wasn't making me feel any better so just like I allowed myself to write, I'm allowing myself to take a break.

    And please don't get lost in the wilds, I'd miss you too much at #pubwrite!