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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I(DENT)ity Crisis

I told myself I would maintain my sense of self. My writing. My creativity… during this identity change of mine.

Unfortunately, I have failed at some of that (so far).

And it's a hard pill to swallow. With my path transitioning from one form to the next, I've found myself floundering with writing, with creativity. I mean, how many times have I said that I would be finishing Pendomus by now? (Here's a hint; too many to count.)

The lull of my story… the melody singing in my soul... nearly faded to a dull whisper in the background because I didn't have the tools to call it back. Not yet.

I stopped worrying about everything beyond the immediate. Kids. Husband. Bills. Food. I suppose, in many ways, it was my mind's way of dealing... Retreating in on itself and going into protection mode. As I've stated before… there's been a backlash from my decisions, as I knew there would be. People who cannot or will not understand the drastic measures to which I've taken to live a happier life.

But that time has past.

Life has progressed and new routines are in the inklings of establishment. The new roadmap for the future is starting to unfold and I can see more clearly now. It's a relief because for a while, I worried whether I'd ever return completely to writing. But how could I get THAT far… the ending no less, only to let it go?

I continue to have pangs of guilt every time I workout and listen to Jillian Michaels say, "You don't stop before the finish line… that's when you break into a sprint."

Because I know I can do this. I know I can get it done…
but the writer's block has been brutal.

I've worked on Pendomus in small sections for months. It's only now that the ending is nearly in place now. My writing is starting to flow again. While I still haven't had the focus to make a large enough dent (at least in my mind), it's getting there. Closer… each time.

I'm getting ideas again. Seeing correlations in the day to day movements of life. Ways to incorporate them into my creative writing. And you know what? It feels good.

I've had some fantastic support in the form of betas - Pavarti, in particular, got my mind going again and I cannot thank her enough. The world has started to color itself again due to her feedback. Not to mention my wonderful husband and Beta-Reader-Extraordinaire. These are people I could not live without. Their love and support is invaluable.

I want to also thank each of you. Those who continue to support me, large and small, through the Facebook and Twitterverses. Right here on my blog. Your support means a lot.

Now… a quick question… What are your recommendations for overcoming writer's block? I need to get Pendomus done and make sure it's done right. Do you have any tips for blending two variations of the same end into one?

Hell, do you think it's normal to struggle so much during a life transition like mine?


TL Jeffcoat said...

It's absolutely normal, as far as getting over the writers block, I'd say just keep at it, or start something new and fresh to spark your muse back to life. That's what I did after struggling the last couple months.

D.C. said...

When I suffer from writers block, I do one of two things. I drink to much wine and write whatever comes to mind or I write a few flash fiction pieces. One of these avenues may be a little more productive than the other. ;)

A.M. Swan said...

For me it is always helpful to use my writing to imagine life the way it could be, should be, or should not be. That is how I have gotten through tough challenges in life and put my creativity to work. Fantasy is a writer's best friend.

M.R. Merrick said...

Writers block, ugh, what a brain suck that is!

I don't know if there is a common method that works. I mean, we all create differently, we all resolve problems different, so naturally, we each solve creative problems differently. However, maybe if a few of us chip in what works for us, you'll find a combination that works for you?

I agree with TL that sometimes starting something fresh is the key, and other times you just need to force it. Many people disagree with forcing it, but honestly, sometimes I just have to, and go back to do repairs once the creative magic is back.

But first, what I do before anything else, and it works nearly every time is:

Lay down somewhere comfortable with music that represents my story the best, close my eyes and daydream. Not just any daydream, but the story so far. I watch it all happen in my mind from chapter 1 to the point of writers block. By the time I've envisioned (in detail) the entire story so far, I'm so into who the characters are and what they're doing, that the next step comes naturally. Don't force this part, just imagine your story, alive in your mind, and see what happens.

Ray Plasse said...

Hey! I did post a terribly witty comment and now it's gone! :( Just take your time and do it right! We'll wait however long it takes!

Anonymous said...

Well, Carissa, you've taken the first step, and that's to admit you have a writer's block! :)

I had the worst case of writer's block earlier this year. It lasted a good few months. I even recycled past blog posts just to show some sort of literary life. I lost all desire to put pen to paper. All of it. I eventually broke out of it once I identified I had fallen into a life-sucking abyss. Once I admitted that, everything else was candy. I threw myself fully into all that was social in order to counteract the bitter assault I had to withstand from a very nasty former friend (calling me a troll and a horrid Canadian).

All is good now, I'm writing again, CP'ing for new friends, and the rest is behind me. You know the funny thing about the whole thing? Once I realized what the problem was, everything else fell into place.

I guess the only advice I can give you is keep doing what you're doing. One morning you will wake up and know instinctively what to do. That's what happened to me. :)

K.T. Hanna said...

I think it's perfectly normal to suffer from writer's block at a time like this. So, I don't think you should feel bad for it. And you're getting it back - which is fantastic.

You deserve it <3 I'm so happy for you.

Me and writer's block? I usually just write until it feels like it's flowing. Brute force is my thing when it comes to writing... probably won't help.

Anyhu - I'm so happy that it's falling back into place. Take your time and make it everything you want it to be <3

Carissa Andrews said...

Thanks for all of your help and feedback, everyone. It's been a weird couple months in the realm of writing. I can sit in front of my story at times and go absolutely blank. As in, I have NO FREAKING clue what I want to do with it. Which is weird. I pride myself on being able to make decisions and creatively solve problems. Luckily, I think the worst is over. I will definitely try some of the advice. I especially like Matt's idea of laying down and listening to music that suits the story/scene and imagining it. Music has always been my muse… :)

Tracy said...

For me, I have to free write, brainstorm or do some automatic writing. Writers block for me is about fear. If I know I am just experimenting and I don't expect to keep anything, I do better. Good luck!

Tracy said...

For me, I have to free write, brainstorm or do some automatic writing. Writers block for me is about fear. If I know I am just experimenting and I don't expect to keep anything, I do better. Good luck!

Pavarti said...

aww honey pie, I'm happy I was such a help! It's only natural that your writing would need to be set aside while you dealt with life. Now though you better finish that damn story! :)

Do it or I'll cut off all your hair!

Sorry I missed our phone date. Taxes are kicking my ass. Let's have a brainstorming session next week!