this is a fairly accurate depiction of how my creative mind has felt recently. Not a lot happening there. In fact, it looks weirdly similar to the part of my brain that’s reserved for remembering people’s names, book plots and the rivers of Ireland.
Writing involves a lot of ebb and flow, certainly in terms of a novice’s confidence and ideas, and after a year or so of writing pretty continuously, it was probably only a matter of time before I found myself back in the ebb neighbourhood. I was hopeful that I’d picked up enough writing discipline to keep going even when I got stuck, but it turns out I hadn’t.
The blog has also suffered, as a consequence. When the imposter syndrome is strong, it’s hard to know what to write about, or why anyone would be remotely interested in reading anything I have to say. Then again, as this is a blog about learning to write, I suppose not writing is equally relevant.
So what to do about it? I tried being practical and showing up at my desk. I use the word ‘tried’ very loosely because many things have tripped me up on the way to my keyboard; such as the urgent need to binge-watch all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls on Netflix (seriously, why have I never heard of it before? And why do I have a constant craving for coffee in gigantic mugs recently?).
I tried internal peps talks. This time last year I was finishing up the NaNoWriMo challenge, during which I managed to write 50,000 words of a novel. If I was able to write like that before, surely I can do it again?
I tried giving myself permission to skive off – after all, the world isn’t waiting for more fiction. Who cares if you don’t want to write? I told myself. Be that way. Things remain frosty between us.
Yesterday, for the first time in ages, an idea started doing wheelies through the echoing car park of my head. I don’t want to say much about it for fear of scaring the thought away, but suffice it to say it started with the unlikely phrase ‘bird fancier’s lung’. Let’s see where this takes me.
But first, I need some coffee in a gigantic mug…