I've been in a bit of a conundrum lately. I open my laptop, I open the appropriate documents (current WIP, current MS I'm editing). And then all hell breaks loose. I don't want to write in my WIP. I don't want to edit my MS. Let it edit itself. I think I'm having an issue with authority, though sadly the authority is just myself. I'm feeling defiant. Bored. Irritated. I won't be controlled by my work, damn it!
I think that's the real issue. I'm feeling boxed in. Pressured to finish something. I've lost the passion for these things. It's scary, really, this issue I'm having. It's probably just a passing thing. Give me a few days and I'll be ready to knuckle down.
So in the midst of my frustration, when even distracting myself with Facebook didn't help, I went for a walk. While getting some fresh air and exercise I thought about things. My past manuscripts, all the hours I've put into lovingly creating characters and worlds, all the places I'd hoped to take them.
Eureka! Inspiration struck. I hightailed it back to my laptop and *gasp* opened a BLANK word document. Suddenly the heavens broke and bathed me in warm sunlight.
Oh! The blank page! How lovely. How wonderful. How promising.
Taking myself back to my plans to continue my series, I started writing. I wrote and wrote and wrote. No restrictions. No rules. I wrote about Chase, possibly my favorite character ever. If you're curious about him, read The Gay in YA. Ohhh how fabulous! I wrote 1500 words in 45 minutes. I reread it. It didn't suck!
For a minute I was worried I'd lost my touch. But nope! There's still a writer in there. Good. I'd hate to quit after all this time. I mean, I'd even considered if I just wanted to be a reader again, forgo this whole writer business and get back to gobbling up books like candy.
I'm happy to report that I still love writing (and that Chase might possibly have a story of his own). It was really nice to remind myself that I don't always have to be working towards something. It's okay to just let the words out and let them be. It doesn't have to be perfect and it doesn't have to impress anyone. That's what takes all the fun out of it. I'm trying so hard to perfect my manuscript for someone else that I'm losing the drive. And when it's not fun, it's not worth much.
So, my advice, dear friends. Take a beat every now and then. Write something fun just for yourself. Don't get sucked into the rules imposed on us by society. Be free, people! It feels great. (I kind of sound like a hippie. I'm diggin' it.)
All the best,