That Writing Slump

It's not always writer's block. Sometimes it's just a writing slump

As a reader, I’m all too familiar with the reading slump. As a writer, I think I’ve experienced several writing slumps over the years, but passed it off as not being able to justify being on the computer instead of studying/working/raising kids or just plain writer’s block. Currently, I am not a student, not working yet, and have settled into a routine with 2 toddlers that gives me enough time to write.

But I can’t.

I think, for the first time, I have to admit I’m in a writing slump.

And, no, it’s not writer’s block, where a writer is stuck with a work or just can’t figure out what to write next. I don’t have the inability to produce anything. I have. Recently. Like two nights ago. I’m not stuck. I’m not blocked. I want to write so badly, but I can’t. I just can’t. Just like a reading slump when I just can’t bring myself to read.

Blogging

This writing slump is affecting my blogging. I want to write. I have lists of ideas that excite me. Every day when the kids are asleep, I think this is my time to write. I’m itching to write.

Then the time comes. And I just can’t. It’s not even because something else is pulling at my mind. I just can’t make myself write.

The crazy thing is I have blog posts fully written and edited. They’re ready to go. A minute to get them posted and then I can dust off my hands and say all done. And they’re good posts. They’re posts I’m pleased with and want to share. But I just can’t.

Then there’s the commenting. I’m an introvert, but I love commenting. At the beginning of the year, I was definitely going overboard and had to curb my itchy fingers. Today, there are so many posts I want to comment on, but, again, I just can’t. Or I take 2 days to actually leave the comment that’s been bouncing around in my head.

And I can’t forget all the lovely comments I’m honored to receive! Every day, I set out to respond. Most days I just can’t. I open up my notifications, prepare to respond, but my fingers won’t cooperate. Two to three days later, I finally get them moving.

I want to write! I want to blog! But I just can’t.

Creative Writing

I’m a writer at heart. I love unraveling my own stories and immersing myself into the worlds that exist in my head. My first love is fantasy, followed by general fiction. But I’ll dabble in sci-fi and badly attempt a mystery. There’s always someone waiting patiently, or not so patiently, in my head, just waiting for me to turn to him or her and say, “Your turn.”

Actually, I’ve been working on a story that I hope to share here soon. Some of it is sitting in drafts and all I have to do is schedule them.

But I have a hard time getting myself going. I have scenes written in my head. I know the exact words I want to use. I edit before I actually write it. All I have to do is get my fingers moving. But whenever I get a chance, whenever the kids are asleep and quiet, I just can’t bring myself to write. Instead, I daydream. I let the stories unfold in my mind and tell myself I’ll write it down later.

Later, I’m still waiting for you to arrive.

It’s not a block. I’m not blocked.

It’s like a reading slump. I pick up a story, one I’m really interested in, and then close the document.

I can write. I have ideas. I’m actually doing some writing here and there. I’m producing content and writing a story. There’s nothing stopping me from writing.

I just don’t want to write.

I’m in a writing slump.

Now excuse me while I go and try to climb up this hill. Or at least figure out why I don’t want to write. If I’m lucky I’ll have posts on Monday and Friday, with the next chapter of Gates to Asphodel, as always, on Wednesday.

You know what? Maybe I need daily themes again, like mother Mondays and bookish Thursdays. Without that early schedule, even though I often stressed about getting content written, I do and don’t know what I’m writing and posting. Maybe that will get my blogging back in track. As for my creative writing, maybe I should go ahead and vomit out those stupid short stories that keep waving their hands like the overly eager student the teacher simultaneously loves and hates.

Okay, fairies, come out and play! Well, actually, there’s just one. Maybe one day you’ll meet her. At the moment, she just keeps running down a street, in the pouring rain, screaming, “Thomas! Thomas!”

    • kat

      Thanks! Unfortunately, this post took the better part of a week to write, but I’m learning that starting with a little and building up helps. Though perhaps I should start ruffling my own feathers.

  1. jennifermzeiger

    I read somewhere this is called ‘resistance’. I have the same problem…most of the time. I have yet to find a trick to getting out of it other than just writing anyway. Usually the stuff that comes out is rubbish but that’s okay. It’s training the brain just like working out trains the body. (There’s resistance there too even though you feel better afterwards.=) Push through that ‘resistance’ in your brain that does a ‘meh’ when you actually have the time and get a sentence down, then a paragraph, and then a page…

    • kat

      So accurate! I’ve heard many writers say to just write because, even if it’s terrible, the practice will always be good. Just like how I got out of a reading slump, a little at a time is doing wonders. Slow, but at least it gets the job done. Though this resistance is quite annoying.

  2. bitsanddragons

    It’s amazing how the lack of an efficient writing routine can affect me also. I heard your slump being called also “fear of the white”, as referred to the white sheet of paper in an old typewriter. Now I don’t have a typewriter, but I’m scared of sitting in front of my laptop, staring at the blinking cursor. Please keep going… we people love your work 🙂

    • kat

      That’s a good way of putting it! Sometimes I feel like that cursor is judging me after I’ve spent 10 or so minutes just staring back at it. It’s like it just freezes my brain. But they say to just keep writing, the good and the bad, so I will. Thank you so much for continuing to read!

  3. ckennedyhola

    I like your idea of themes! In your effort to try to sort out your writing slump, you just helped me with mine:) Thanks–and I wish you the best of luck with your writing, though it looks like just having the will to write may be a step in the right direction. Cheers!

  4. theoverflowingjournal

    There’s this quote I saw that really keeps me going. “You can’t think yourself out of a writing block. You have to write yourself out of a thinking block”. And I know you just said it’s not that you can’t write, you just don’t want to, but some advice for later days. 😊💓

  5. Clever Girl

    Nice read. Inspiration can only take one so far. Writing is a disciplined practice and like anything, if you don’t practice, you start to lose it. Except when it comes to bicycles I suppose.

    • kat

      Thanks! Inspiration always seems like the easy part, or is it the putting off of the actual writing? I do wish it were more like riding a bicycle.

      Thank you so much for your comment! I apologize for taking so long to reply. Life’s been a little nuts.

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