WB vs. L.O.I.: Post-Writeathon Blues

So, for once, two blog postings in a week. This should make up for forgetting February, right?

Anyway, this post is one that is rough for me to admit, but I feel that people could relate to it, so why the heck not, huh? I mean, if that retreat taught me anything, it’s that finding other writers who have faced similar situations is an eye-opener, and they can give advice for the troubles you might be having, because they might have gone through them themselves.

This week, my struggle is my inspiration. It’s gone on vacation. For who knows how long. I spent a straight 7 days writing about 8 hours a day, with breaks for lunch and just because I need to step away. So, about 6 hours a day, I was either brainstorming or writing. And now I have 28,000 words for my third book in my most recent series.

The problem with that?

When I got home, my inspiration said, “Adios. Sayonara. Goodbye. I’ll be back whenever.”

I had lost all inspiration to work on finishing it. Maybe it was the draining from writing that much in that short amount of time. Maybe I missed my new friends and the snippets we would share before dinner. Maybe I’d laughed too much over the course of that retreat, and it gave me brain damage. In any case, I have not been able to get a coherent chapter out of my head for days. And it’s frustrating! Because, only about a month or two ago did I know how my series would end. And the ending is AMAZING! (Well, in my mind anyway. The rest of you will be sobbing and sending threatening letters for me to write another book to make things better).

The point is, losing your inspiration can be a scary, frustrating thing. I’ve had plenty of times when I had writer’s block, but what I’ve come to realize is that Writer’s Block and Loss of Inspiration are two separate conditions.

Writer’s Block, despite the usage some people use, is when you can’t generate any ideas for projects you’re working on, which causes frustration because you had hoped it would amount to something. Loss of Inspiration takes from the (wrong) public usage and capitalizes on it. I see it as you know EXACTLY what you want to write, EXACTLY which characters it involves, and EXACTLY how it ends, but can’t, for your life, get the words down on paper/computer. Some symptoms of both of these would be:

– frustration;

– not being able to sit still for extended lengths of time;

– spending TOO much time on Netflix, browsing episodes of Friends, Supernatural, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or various, addictive anime shows;

– Talking/Rambling a lot, much to the annoyance of your family and friends.

However, a MAJOR effect of L.O.I. is one that isn’t that prominent in WB:

– Dreaming.

Being a writer is all about being an imaginative dreamer, right? Our stories are a part of us, every character has a piece of us in their looks, personality, attitude, quirks, or flaws. Each setting, plot bunny, character, world system – each and every word we have written since we wanted to be a writer – came from us. When you have WB, it restricts that dreaming ability, because we can’t seem to figure out what to write next. However, the opposite is just a frustrating to those with L.O.I.

They dream more than usual. You’d think this was a good thing, but think about it for a second. Being able to dream up every chapter, every plot point, every character development moment, but not being able to utilize it in story format? For me, that’s torture. It’s the most frustrating condition ever to have, and believe me, I know, because I’m going through it right now.

The downside? Every writer can get both of these issues at any time in their writing career. It will happen without notice, warning, or time to prepare, and when you least expect it. There’s a good thing to remember though.

There’s always a light at the end of a tunnel. You will get through it, and one day soon, you’ll be scribbling/typing at the speed of light. Just remind yourself of what you want, and remember that it will be worth it.

Yeah, having your own book in your hands, whether digital or print?

Yes, it’s ALWAYS worth the trouble.

Guess I gotta remember that myself, huh? 😉

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