Monday, September 15, 2014

In the Mood? Nope.

Now before you think the title of this post refers to something naughty, let me assure you that it doesn't. Would I do that to you? :-)

No, I'm talking about being in the mood to write - and how I'm not. At all.

It's rather bizarre how I will be a writing machine for a few weeks, excited about my project, immersing myself in the world of literature and the craft of writing, connecting with other writers, and having a grand ol' time. But the past few days have shown a decided lack of enthusiasm for much of anything to do with the English language.

It's disheartening to feel this way, especially since I'm so close to finishing my edits of the novel. I've already got a query letter drafted and ready to send to agents. But I have to get the novel done first.

So what's a gal to do when she needs to write but can't?

Write anyway.

Now I'm not saying I've been a writing machine lately because I haven't. But I've managed to write a few sentences here and there and still stay connected to the story. After an epiphany on a certain aspect of the novel, I wrote a nice chunk tonight. Good, yes, but still not where I want to be.

However, I've been writing long enough to realize that this is just a phase I need to get through. The creative well may very well be dry and I need to refill it. My weekend was full of family time and tonight I took a walk with my daughter to enjoy the changing weather. Autumn is pretty much upon us even though it won't be officially here until next week. I have faith the urge to dive into the novel will return shortly.

Sometimes, forcing yourself to write is the correct move. Other times it's not. It depends on the situation and the writer. Everyone is different.

What about you? When you are not in the mood to write, do you do it anyway? Or do you take a few days off to refill your creative well?

12 comments:

  1. Actually, I saw the title and thought, "Glen Miller!" :-)

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    1. LOL! That's what I was thinking when I wrote it, too!

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  2. Sometimes I think we need to "just write"—knowing it won't all be great or even good—but so often there's stuff in the way of what IS good in our mind. The "play" writing helps get it out of the way, at least in my experience.

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    1. This is so true. I need to write for fun more often instead of constantly worrying about getting it published or even having anyone else look at it.

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  3. Yes! I am in this same place!! I know this pattern though... I stop writing for a little while, when life around me gets crazy, and then it just gets harder and harder to go back. The forward momentum isn't there, and I stare at the page for a little while, then just close it out. I know I just have to do it. Just start writing, and the mood will come back. But it is SO HARD.

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    1. It's interesting that you and I are having some of the exact same struggles, Heidi. The changing season is to blame, perhaps? Regardless, I hope we both get our motivation back soon!

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  4. I am in the same place too. I do try to at least write a few sentences every day. If I go too long without writing anything at all, it's too hard to remember where I am when I pick it up again.

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    1. I think that is the key, Laurie, to keep in touch with the manuscript. Even a few sentences a day is an accomplishment!

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  5. Our manuscripts are like friends and families...we need to stay in touch. Sometimes things happen and that distance grows...but hopefully we get to reconnect.

    I recently wrote about this on my blog - I lost my manuscript and just "lost my drive" to write. What I SHOULD have done is "just write anyway." I would have been connected and probably done by now. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. So I let it go. I just reunited with it last week - and what a rush. It came back like it never left. 4 years.....and it came back. And I also went through some things that directly impact the story - so maybe there was a reason for the halt. Maybe when we get into that lack of drive....our mind is working on it in the background. We have an epiphany and a breakthrough.

    But it is important to stay in touch.

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    1. Isn't it amazing how our brains remember all these things about our manuscripts even years after we've abandoned them? Truly amazing.

      Thanks for stopping by, Brittany!

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  6. I think I need to push myself to keep writing, even if it's only a paragraph or two, when I get into that mood. Because often what happens is the mood is only temporary, but I get distracted by other things and then before I know it, it's been several weeks since I touched my manuscript!

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    1. In total agreement with you, Margo, and unfortunately, I'm not taking my own advice. I haven't looked at my novel in a few days as work and other things have gotten in the way. I need to remedy that very soon.

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