I've been feeling stuck lately. Writer's block? That would be the easy, go to answer if not for some compelling thoughts I've read by Martha Alderson aka The Plot Whisperer on the subject.
"If you find yourself plagued with writer's block, chances are you suffer a deeper malady - procrastination. If you find yourself putting off even starting to write, chances are your malady runs deeper still - perfectionism."
Her words linger as I continue to chart the structure of my novel. The process has brought up a lot of questions, for my characters, as well as for me. In taking time to answer them, I've been thinking about time, namely, how much time I spend writing?
I've never been one to sit and write for hours on end. A euphoric session that lasts a few hours will inevitably be lambasted by sessions of nothingness to boot. But in between these two extremes, I've found a comfort zone of about 1 1/2 hours. It's something to work with but to date, I have not produced a readable manuscript, something that I am willing to hand over and so I ask myself why?
My writing time has been a comfortable space, but has it been too comfortable that I haven't asked anything more from it? Looking back over the years, I've accrued plenty of words but words alone are not enough to render a story complete. What is the difference that some writers can churn out a tale in one, two or three years time while another writer requires ten?
The bones of my story are currently posted on my wall. I imagine the work that follows to be an easy game of connect the dots until I spy something more glaring looking back at me. For all my hours of writing, my story still stands incomplete. In some cases, I have not written my story as much as I have written around the details of it. I can follow the lines till suddenly, the energy falters. Something stops me and I find myself willing to only circle the outer edges of some chapters. Is there such a thing as procrastination-in-motion, the equivalent to spinning one's wheels?
As I said, writer's block would bave been the easy, go to answer if not for the obvious tracks I leave behind. I know some circles aren't worth repeating but now, it seems even time begs for something more.
Laurence Durrell said, "It takes a lot of energy and a lot of neurosis to write a novel. If you were really sensible,you'd do something else." Are you feeling sensible today?