Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When the Word Mines Come Up Dry

Photo by:  GSofV of Flickr
Lately, writing has been hard.

Not because of Boston.  Although I could certainly try to use that as an excuse.  No, I don't plan on talking about Boston.  I makes me too sad, and tons of smart, eloquent people have said all I could ever hope to.  Go check out John Green or Micheleh's videos, or Chuck Wendig's post, or Patton Oswalt's Facebook post.

No, today I want to talk about writing.

Lately, I've had a bit of a dry spell and I'm not sure why.

My goals of writing 1000 words a day three times a week has been...not bueno.  I mean, I've done it off and on.  I've managed to up my blogging.  But my short fiction has been stunted since mid-March.

The plus sides:  I've completed three stories this year, and I did some basic work on a 4th--maybe 1/3 or 1/4 is written?  And I've revised two stories have them making the submission rounds.  They may be good, they may be bad.  But they're out there.

However, I can't seem to get a project to stick in my brain.  It's like, every time I sit down to do any fiction writing, I start hearing a chorus of voices telling me my ideas are stupid, my writing is hackneyed, and my stories are as uninspired as a bowl of oatmeal.  It's frustrating.  The creative wells are drip-drip-drip....dry.  I reach for words, and they're just not there.

I know what Chuck Wendig would say.  He'd say, "Harden the fuck up, Care Bear".  He'd say, "On good days--write.  On bad days--write.  The words always come first."  Or something along those lines.  Probably a lot more eloquently.  And with several more references to unicorn pole-dancers or leprechaun porn.

I know what needs to be done.  I just can't seem to bring myself to do it.  And that's the frustrating part.