I finished the first draft of my follow-up novel to “The Historian’s Crusade” about four months ago. Since then, I have not been able to go back to it or write much of anything creatively since.
Having not written anything for the blog in a good three weeks either, I thought I might as well make the obligatory post every “up-and-coming” writer makes, the one regarding writer’s block.
Writer’s block, by definition, is the loss of ability to create new material, be it a complete blockage of your creativity or simply a slowdown. So in that sense, being simply busy might just as well count. In that sense, I have the most annoying kind of writer’s block. The kind where you still get numerous ideas all of the time and write down snippets here and there, but mostly can’t bring yourself to write. Because as much as I want to kid myself, I am not that busy. Even with a part-time job and my master’s studies at uni, I still have a lot of free time, including study time it’s still less than a forty hour a week commitment with plenty of time to write. Hell, I wrote “Historian’s Crusade” and it’s follow-up “The Historian’s Quest” in a six month period when I was swarmed with a shit ton more work than I am now. So what’s exactly the matter?
It’s the cop out answer to reply that nobody really knows where writer’s block comes from, but if I were to make a guess, it is usually one of three things: either you overworked your creative muscles too much, you are stuck on something, or, quite simply, you just don’t feel like it.
Many people trying to be writers, trying to make it, have this idea that they need to be working 24/7 on their works. I disagree with that. Quantity is not quality, it’s a sentiment I have offered numerous times in the past, especially in regards to things like NaNoWriMo. If you have a story, it will eventually come out. In the meantime the best you can do is try and relax. If that means playing twenty hours of a video game or watching a season of a television, exercising, or simply sleeping in, all of that is okay.
I still haven’t been able to write anything in the last few months even though I am no longer beating myself up over not writing anything, so I’m not sure my approach works, but it’s certainly better than chastising yourself over what should bring you joy. No more, no less.