I have been going through a writing slump and I have stayed quiet throughout it. I am not sure what it was but I didn't feel like writing or blogging, but I still did it. Perhaps it was the stress of uni and my trying to stick to the patterns I maintained throughout the year so far, but what I have learnt now that I have started to come out the other side is that things in life don't stay the same, and so you need to adapt. You need to reassess your priorities and right now, my priority is to do what makes me happy. Once I decided this, my love of writing came back to me.
I come home from work and/or study and I want to write as I have been thinking of nothing else during the course of the day, but by the time I get to my bed I am exhausted. I may have time to write, but I cannot bring my mind to think of anything let alone formulate a plot. It has become so bad that I have missed two posts, one last month and one last week, due to this slump. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. But now I am slowly finding my feet again and it is my story which is brining me back to earth. My story and my characters are my centre of gravity right now. I feel like I have been on the go for so long, but now, I am shifting priorities and the only way I will get through the rest of the year with out burning out is to put my happiness at the top of my to do list. My happiness is writing, it has always been there for me and it is what makes me, me.
Looking back on my life, I realise that writing has always been the thing that I turn to when I don't feel like myself during times of great stress. I remember, during the HSC I turned to it and at my first year of uni or during exam times. Writing has always centred my mind and gives me a creative outlet which I feed all my pent up emotions through like a funnel.
It is still the case now, but the thing is each semester at uni is different. The last half of the year I found my routine and got to write a lot and meet my targets. However, this semester it is totally different, my subjects are harder and requires more work. I am also working three days a week and I guess I am still trying to find my groove. In order to do that I tried something new today. Usually I would be studying from dawn until dusk all weekend but instead of studying I did wanted to do- which was write. I relaxed and wrote. It felt good and I felt free. I think I will do this from now on, at least dedicate one day a week to writing if I can.
Slowly but surely, I am coming out of this writing slump that I am in and I am overjoyed. My story is at the stage where I want to churn out the words and see it come to life. My characters are opening up to me in ways they never have before. It is really motivating to see each character come into their own and have the story take shape around the building blocks. I am really starting to fall in love with my story again and I am happy to revel in it.
The other thing I am happy about is that I am finally comfortable to make my standalone a trilogy or possibly even more. There is just no other way to go about it because my plot is so thick and there is so much going on that if I crammed it into one book, it would be the worlds longest novel and I would have to sacrifice characterisation for the action. I do not want to do this. I want to make it the best that it can be and I want my readers to love my characters. So I will make it into three, that can be done easily and depending on the third novel it may go on further.
It took me a while to be comfortable with it because there are so many things to think about and the biggest one is the possibility that it will not be published and never see the light of day. I have put my doubt aside, there is nothing much I can do about that as that is the decision of the publisher. However, I am happy about the position I am in now and I feel like I can keep going!
My main point I want to get across is that, you can only force yourself to do things for so long and then one day it becomes tedious. However, taking a break can be good and allocating dedicated writing time is something that should be done because writing is a pursuit that is so very special and once that sparkle is gone, it is hard to get back. Try different things in order for your writing to become again or remain special to you.
I hope that if you are feeling down or don't feel like writing, don't beat yourself up. It happens to all of us, and it passes. Don't think that it has to do with your writing, there may be other things in your life like work stress or school which may be the cause. Let me know if I can help you beat your slump, I'd be happy to help!