12.12.2017

Stuck

I'm going to off today's triumphant return to the lunchtime bloggy blog posts with a little haiku.
This isn't a completely original haiku. The original was regarding DNS and is rather funny if you are an IT person. I've adapted it for use in my own (admittedly warped) reality.

So, here's a little haiku to give you some insight on where this is all going.

It's not writer's block.
There's no way it's writer's block.
It was writer's block.

Yeah. You guessed it. I'm eating my words again, and I'm finding that they aren't as sweet going back down my throat.

Up until this morning I was one of those people that would happily tell you that I don't get writer's block. If I get stuck, I change stories and work on something else.

And until last night at about 8:52PM, I probably believed that wholeheartedly.

But then, as I'm sitting there last night with 3 different windows opened on three different works in progress and a fourth open on an empty blog window, I realized something.

I'm stuck.

Stuck.  I had a short story that I was working on for submission to an anthology. The cap on length for that is 10K. My story was well over 6K last night and I wasn't really even in to the meat of it at that point. So, that one is looking like a book. Which, I mean, that's cool, but it kind of derailed me.

I'm going to tell you a secret.

I don't always do so great when plans change unexpectedly. Now, admittedly, on the surface, you would probably never know it unless you know the specific tic my eye makes or how the tone in my voice wavers ever so slightly. But if I had my mind set on a thing or goal, and it suddenly gets derailed even if it's derailed by something that turns out to be better, there is still a period where my brain has to reconcile the expectation with the reality. Sometimes that's seconds. Other times that's minutes. Or, you know, with some things, years. Just happens. It's the way I'm wired. I'm working on it, but it's not an easy fix. And I'm not sure it's a bad thing. The whole process of reconciling expectations and reality has often led me to some cool conclusions and some serious "a-ha" moments in my journey of self-discovery.

When my laptop died unexpectedly last week, I got derailed. YES, I have many work-arounds. And if you read the 'Oddly OK' post you might think I was OK with those work-arounds. But I realized last night that I'm in that period of reconciliation. And that period won't have any real hope of conclusion until tomorrow night when we find out if it's truly dead dead. So, I don't know how much writing I'm going to actually get done today.

Am I blocked? No. I don't think so. I'm just...stuck. There is, in my mind, a difference. For me, true writer's block is sitting there staring at a screen with absolutely no ideas and no thought as to when you might again find those ideas.  Obviously, like everything creative, there is no single definition that works for everyone in every instance.

I have ideas. I have stories. I know where I want to go with them. The words are just stuck. Stuck somewhere between my brain and the page. Stuck somewhere beyond the wellspring where my mind normally pulls ideas from.

I think the thing that threw me the most (other than the Air dying) was the fact that I had three separate story starts for this magic-themed anthology I'm trying to get in. And the first story idea led me to the second as I was a couple thousand words in to it. The second idea led me to the third storyline. That one is the one that just grabbed me by the short hairs and said 'Dude, you seriously need to be writing this.'  And I did. I was. Until I saw the word count and realized that it would be too long. So I did the worst possible thing I could do as a writer. I stopped. I didn't abandoned the story, but I realized that it wasn't the one. As awesome as it seemed to be in my head, probably not the one.

I'm looking around now for ideas. What can I use? What can I adapt? What can I write?

The questions are floating around my brain bucket like a cork in the ocean. And there's the crux of being stuck...overthinking.

I'm thinking about this shit too much. I need to go back to what I know (or what I think I know), and just frickin' write. I need to take that last $5 on my Starbucks card and camp out tonight at my favorite 'bux and just see what the fuck happens.

Sounds goods. Sounds like a positive plan. The problem is that there are at least 4 hours between now and the time I can do that.

And now we're back to the overthinking part. I think that for me, writer's block or even being stuck comes down to somehow getting in my own way. I had this expectation that I would somehow make December another 50K month for words. And I'm on day 12 sitting at maybe 2500, if I'm lucky. It's just weird.

Not really sure that any of this actually helps anyone out there trying to figure out how to get unstuck.

Maybe just write about why you're stuck

It's probably boring as balls to someone reading it (sorry about that), but at the end of it, you might find that you have just pounded out a thousand more words than you had this morning.

Like I just did.

Guess I'm not entirely as stuck as I thought I was.

And now, since you put up with all of that shite, a picture of your intrepid author in a funny hat.




Peace out!
-Todd


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