Hey all! This is a post that I’ve been meaning to write for a long time. I’ve talked about how to gain inspiration, about some of my various processes, but I’ve never talked about what kills my writing. It’s not something I think about very often, I don’t like thinking about writer’s block at all. Thinking about it feels like I’m tempting fate, you know? It feels like the writer’s block will jump down and steal all my story ideas if I talk about it. But we’ll talk about it today since I’m relatively blocked on novels right now anyway.
Maybe talking about it will help.
Perhaps I should stop personifying my writer’s block.
I probably won’t.
stress stabs the writing
I suppose this one is pretty self explanatory, right? Stress exacerbates a lot of things – and two of the things most impacted by stress are my depression and ADHD. Stress goes up, focus goes down, I get upset about it. It turns into a nasty cycle of me really not getting anything done.
But wait! You said you’ve managed to write during depressive spells!
I have. I had built up momentum and just kept powering through everything. One of my current issues is I’m coming off a depressive spell where I wrote little to nothing for months. I don’t have the momentum to carry me through it this time.
On a slightly different note – stress also makes the quality of writing drop. I’m not a huge perfectionist about my writing, I believe strongly that a lot of things can be solved in subsequent drafts, but I can tell when my writing had nosedived in terms of quality.
my self worth destroys the writing
Writing is a fine balance between HUGE amounts of self confidence and MASSIVE amounts of self doubt. I’m never 100% sure that deciding to publish my novels was a good thing, sometimes I’m convinced that they suck. I second guess myself a lot. But I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve managed to do with my career. And I’m really trying to build that career now.
I’m surrounded by a lot of people who were very lucky straight out of college. I am not one of those people. I’ve struggled for a long time to try and find a good job, or even a decent job. Just something that supplements. I’m very happy for my friends, but it can be hard to be the comparatively poorly off person.
It really does a number on your self esteem. After all, they managed to get jobs, why couldn’t I, right?
When my self worth decides to downward spiral, my writing tends to just drop off the face of the planet because what’s the point? It’s probably not that great anyway. It’s made worse when people ask things like “what do you even do for work?”
I really need to work on the whole ‘not comparing myself to others’ thing. It would really help me in the long run.
boredom bashes the writing
Again, this seems like a self explanatory one, right? If I’m bored, my writing sucks. If I’m bored, my writing isn’t engaging me – how would it ever engage the reader?
But it’s more than just being bored with the writing. I’ve found that it extends into other things as well. Am I bored with what I’ve been doing that day? Doubt I’ll be doing all that much writing. Writing doesn’t feed off of boredom, it feeds off of creativity. Your mind needs to be active to have successful writing.
When I’m bored, I tend to be completely tuned out from everything. Spaced out. Blank mind.
Not very conducive to writing.
I need to find interest and joy in my daily life for things to be moving as they should (meaning smoothly and productive). The days where I’m up and active, and thus not bored, are often some of my better writing days.
I could probably go on about things that hinder my writing for quite some time. But these are the big ones. Stress, self worth, and boredom. Obviously, ADHD and depression also play into my writing being held back, but those are aspects that I’m learning to work around, that I’ve sought help in controlling.
Writer’s block is a beast, but it can be defeated. Part of working past it is knowing what sets off your writer’s block.