I want to write about not being able to write.
In March, after months of wrestling with it, I turned in my would-be novel as my thesis for my Master’s degree. In April I sat down in front of a board of three people whom I respect greatly and talked about it. I passed my thesis boards, I got my MFA in Creative Writing, and then…..
I put it down and never picked it back up. I thought, at first, that this would be a momentary lapse in writing, that it was just a short break of a month or so and then I would start where I had left off and finish it. Because that’s the thing, it isn’t finished at all. It’s 36,156 words of a novel with a giant hole in the middle where I just couldn’t figure out the plot.
And the truth is, it wouldn’t even bother me that I haven’t picked up my novel in six months except that I haven’t done much short story writing, either. I have written just two new short stories since March, and both are nowhere near being finished.
I’ve been fighting with myself over this lapse in my fiction writing. Part of me wants to believe that to be a successful writer, I need to be spending part of my day every single day writing. The other part of me knows that there’s a chance I’m just not that kind of writer – that I’ve always been and might always be prone to these lengthy breaks and that everyone’s process is different.
The point is that I’ve been wrestling with this for a while. I quit my office job and told everyone there that my plan was to work on my novel. Get published. (Become a famous author)
And I haven’t picked up my book since March. March.
But I’ve tried really hard to be productive. When I couldn’t write, I rebuilt my website. I journaled. I started blogging, which has been a different way of writing, and for me, a very enjoyable one. I’ve gone through nearly all of my possessions and gotten rid of a lot of things that I don’t need. I edited and submitted a lot of short stories. I’ve spent a lot of time hiking. I haven’t done too bad.
And while I think that space is good, I think that it won’t be too long before I lose my Allie and my Bill (main characters in my book) forever. So, this week, I’m going to try and read it. I’m going to sit down and open up the pages of the thesis I bound for myself and simply read it as if it is a novel I found in the library. And the writing will come, eventually. Or I’m hoping. I’ll let you know.
Is anyone else out there suffering from writer’s block? Can anyone help me see the light of productivity at the end of the tunnel?