Tuesday 13 December 2011

Running out of words

Before I start this post properly, I've recently realised that Blogger doesn't show me all the blogs I follow, and if I refresh the page, it shows me a different selection. This means that, unfortunately, I sometimes miss new posts, and therefore don't read and comment on them. I try to make an effort to read and comment on as many posts as possible, because you are all so wonderful at reading my posts, so I felt really bad when I realised I was missing some. I can't see a way around it. I don't want to go through the hassle of de-camping to another blogging site - I'm used to the features on here, so for the moment I'm staying put. I just wanted to explain.

So - back on topic - I've run out of words. I used them all up on my 'novel' of 45,000 words, and now I'm reading it over and supposedly making notes for the next draft, and I'm stuck - no words. I can see where I need a lot of work - I've managed to scribble Major Rewrite! over quite a few of the pages, but I couldn't see how to start, how to change it. My failsafe tecnique is to lie in bed at night and let my mind drift as I go to sleep. On a good night, I have to turn on the light and scribble notes - sometimes, full sections of text - before lying back down and repeating the process. Even that's not working.

Okay, I thought to myself, no biggie. I'll write a short story instead... No words. I have a blank page. I have a pen. But my imagination isn't playing.

I even did the ironing. Voluntarily. That's how bad it is.

The problem is, this has happened before, after finishing a long piece of work. I didn't write anything for six months. No re-drafting, no new work. Nothing. Last time, I didn't have a blog. This time, I do! I'm hoping that if I keep writing here, evenutally I'll find some words and kick-start myself a lot quicker. Otherwise, I might be forced to take in other people's ironing.


  1. I've been in that place. Sometimes we're just processing on some level, and those words just aren't ready to appear. Hope your muse strikes soon!

  2. Sounds like a good time for a Christmas break. Take a couple days off, thing Christmas and maybe something will come up? Or, read a book? Hope the words come back soon.

  3. I was struggling so decided to devote my time to enjoying the run up to Christmas, spend time with the family, get my head around the various TO BUY and TO DO lists, and have a writing break. Since deciding on that, I've been scribbling notes like mad and having ideas in bed. Maybe you need to give your brain a little rest - and maybe inspiration for where to go next with your novel will strike while the iron's hot!

  4. I was in this exact same spot last week. I knew there were things I needed to change but I didn't know how to start. Luckily for me, a lovely person who was waiting to critique my story told me to send it right then, without doing anything else to it. That was hard, I hadn't even fixed basic stuff yet (name and hair colour changes for instance), but she really helped focus me.

  5. I'm sorry to hear you're all struggling too, but I do like the collective idea of taking a break. After all, everyone else is winding down for Christmas - I wonder what it is about writing that makes us feel we ALWAYS have to be writing?

    You've all made me feel a lot more relaxed and I'm definitely going to take your advice :-)

  6. Like you Annalisa, I like Blogger because that's what I'm used to.

    As for writing, just keep at it, no matter what form it takes, blogging is fine, just keep sitting down and putting words out there and hopefully one day you will find the ideas in free flow again. It's a tough time of year, you may just need a couple of weeks before it comes back.

  7. Hi Rebecca, thanks for commenting. As you can tell by the lateness of my reply, even blogging's taken a backseat at the moment!

  8. Hi Annalisa, you know, it's probably nothing more than the time of year. I haven't written a word of fiction for a week! Everything else was getting in the way so I thought I'd just give myself a break and take a week off rather than trudge around with the guilt of not writing yet not writing anyway! (And that's the beauty of writing, a lot of the time we can make these kind of decisions without drastic repercussions!) When I want to write and just can't get started, I take a break from the novel but make sure I write anything and everything else - blog post, blog comments, anecdotes that amuse me, may even start a short story I'll never finish. Somehow, just writing or typing fast again gets my head back in the game.
    Good luck! Be kind to yourself, your mojo will be back!

  9. Thanks Jackie. Enjoy your writing break; I'll try to enjoy mine!


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