I am meant to talk about some aspect of me and my writing and I'd drawing a blank about what to say. Yes, it DOES happen. I know I talk a lot about writing on my blog and reading on my reading blog, but I'm coming up with a blank.
Is this writer's block? Or blogger's block, perhaps?
I realise this happens more with my actual writing. Not that I don't have ideas and want to explore them, but as long time readers of this or my blog would know, I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And that can be a daily challenge, or a weekly challenge, depending on how I'm feeling. I do quite a bit in my life - volunteer for RWAus, blog mistress of this blog, a writing group 'secretary' for want of a better term, and off course there is the 'normal life' stuff as well. But I do it to my pace, with no 9-5 routine to hinder me.
Sometimes I have an invisible barrier between and my writing. I can see it, I want to work on it, but there's this barrier, this brain fog that isn't conducive to words. I try to get through it, try to ignore the pounding in my ears, but I smack against it and stagger back. As you can imagine, this can be frustrating.
What do I do about it?
I watch TV or read to help jump start the creativity and more recently, I've been working on designs. Being visual helps and can sometimes help me through.
But most of all I have to take stock of when I am trying to go through the barrier. I'm a night owl, but despite it being the time of my best work, at other times it just doesn't work. I have to take stock of what I've done for the day and this can make the barrier more pronounced.
For example, today I went to Curves (just joined to get my fitness up again), then went to an appointment, then did some 'volunteer' work at my desk and caught up with email, and was so exhausted I had to take a nap. After nap, I had tea, visited my nephews who ran rings around me, and so I'm now sitting here absolutely brain dead.
I've also come to the realisation I'm a binge writer. That is I can have a week where I can go for gold, pumping words out every day, but then I have to stop. It's my process, and I've come to accept it instead of beating myself up for not being able to produce words every day.
I did this recently with a 7K word short story. I wrote about 2K and it was like pulling teeth. I had to give it a a month before I could go back to it. Then for a week I wrote 4K at different intervals. Then another little break before finally finishing it off. Yes, it took a while but I have to accept that unlike before CFS, I have to let things settle before going on. When I do push and rush through, instead of feeling good I have words written, I get frustrated, because it's not right for the story.
At the end of this post, I think I can offer this one bit of advice - respect your process. What works for you may not work for another writer, but it is YOUR process, so own it, and work with it, instead of against it.
As for me, I know I won't be able to do any work tonight, so I'm off to go sleep.
Eleni's short story Changes will appear on Antipodean SF in January's issue.
For links to Eleni's other short stories, please go to her website.