My Writing Funk

I wrote a post on Facebook’s “Ten-Minute Novelists” page about something that seems to be an issue from what I’ve read: motivation and creative stumbling blocks. In my “rant,” I talked about how I feel stuck in my writing. My “Cell Games” series is losing its luster. I had all these great ideas for my stories. Now, they’re not there. I’ve lost my passion for them. Maybe this is because I spent so much time plotting and planning and holding myself back from writing these stories that I’ve forgotten what I wanted to write about. I could go back to Evernote and read characters and situations I wanted to write about, sure. But it doesn’t feel the same. 

This has been an issue with me the last few weeks. And apparently, I’m not the only one whose struggling with this feeling. I get that having these “moments” are normal for the everyday writer. The problem with me is because I’m not writing every day, having these “moments” led me to quit writing for periods at a time. I don’t want to go through that again. But I just don’t have the gumption to write every day. For months, I journaled using my One Day app, even if it was just a single sentence saying how I felt or what I wrote. But before yesterday, I missed writing in it for about two weeks. (To be fair, I disabled the alerts to save battery life and to not feel as guilty for not writing at a given time.)

After I took to Facebook (and Twitter), discussing my plight, I got some positive feedback and stirring words of encouragement. The fact that I posted my rant showed, to one 10-Minute member, that I was writing. I hadn’t thought about it until he brought it up. And it’s not that I’ve shut my brain off from writing. I’ve let my duties as a husband, father, and provider take priority over writing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I didn’t make time to write. And maybe that’s because I’ve been waiting for inspiration to strike. I know that’s a cop-out, but that’s how I truly feel. I feel like my muse is napping away, waiting for me to get started, and even then, she’s not always present.

So, what’s a writer to do? Write, of course. Even when it’s not convenient. Someone suggested I take ten minutes to write about my story; not write my story. Someone suggested I take a pen and a notebook and write about what I observe: plants, people, cars, outfits, etc. Someone suggested that I participate in NaNoWriMo. Not a bad idea in that it would get me writing, but I don’t have a novel idea in mind. And I struggle with writing consistently. So NaNo is out of the question this year, though it is a goal of mine to participate one year. 

So, there are a lot of suggestions to overcome my writing funk, lack of motivation, writer’s block, call it what you want. I will have to take them up on their suggestions. 

What do you do to combat your writing funk? Feel free to let me know in the comments. Also, if you have suggestions, share those in the comments as well. 

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Author: G. R. McNeese

I'm originally from Illinois, currently residing in Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. I am blessed with a supportive wife and family.

2 thoughts on “My Writing Funk”

  1. When I’m stuck on my current project (whether because the idea dried up or there are too many ideas in my head and I don’t know where to go), I write something else. Maybe it’s a short story. A poem. A tiny vignette that might see the light in another work. But I find that writing something — anything — usually kickstarts the process and I’m back to my project within a few days.

    Don’t expect too much from the muse. She does need a nap occasionally. But open the window to other sources of inspiration. Let her know there are other resources out there, and chances are she’ll show up again!

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  2. I think this is something we all struggle with from time to time. Perhaps it’s just part of the creative process–though some people (Nora Roberts, for example) seem to not be held back by it. Like you, I have difficulty working on a story when I can’t connect to the characters. And I’m not entirely sure how to fix that. Usually I just push myself to write anyway–I’ll set a small goal, maybe 300 or 500 words–and aim for that. I tell myself that if it’s not any good, I’ll just rewrite it. Sometimes I’ll temporarily switch to another story for a few weeks. Every once in a while, we just need a break from a particular story.

    Hope this helps, and good luck in your writing!

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