I Have Writer’s Block. 2016 Has Been A Hard Year.
(Multi-published author with writer’s block buying epic hat at Universal Studios Florida)
I thrive on writing. Or at least I used to, and then 2016 marched on in and kicked me in the nads. It’s been kicking me in the nads all year long and I’m very nearly at a point where I’m ready to throw up my arms and say, to hell with it.
Yes, I know that most of us experience writer’s block from time to time in our lives. This is the first time for me and it’s so utterly soul destroying to want to write something but you find there is nothing in the creativity cookie jar. Not even a few crumbs from which I might get at least a first chapter to kick around and see if it’s got enough to make me want to write a second chapter.
I tried to force myself out of my writer’s block by participating in the 3 Day Novel Contest. I’ve always written better when there was a deadline. The need to get it done on time always stimulated my creative energy, but not this year. I’m doing NaNoWriMo to try and finish what I started in the 3 Day Novel Contest again, believing that a deadline might work. Nothing. Nada. I’ve pumped off a few thousand words here and there but I have no idea where the story is going even though the premise is stone cold brilliant. Christ, I should be jumping for joy at the character I have created and the challenge he faces but it’s just not working.
I feel bad for my literary agent. I’ve promised to send something new twice this year and I haven’t been able to deliver.
2016 started out terribly for me. I injured my back at the end of December 2015 – I have a pair of herniated discs from my years as a soldier. I’ve been living with chronic back pain for two decades and still managed to write. But I screwed it up badly and the pain was so intense that I had to be medicated with a drug called Lyrica, which, I think, screwed me up even more. I could barely even walk most days. My back responded to physiotherapy but it took nearly four months to recover and by then I was already fairly unmotivated. (I have since re-injured my back and there are shooting pains up the center of my spine right now as I write this. Not as bad as it could be but bad enough to distract from the task at hand.)
I left a job I liked after nearly a decade. I found a new job I like far better with far more perks and for a lot more money. That should be offsetting how crappy things have been and I am grateful for the job, but I’m still having trouble writing consistently.
Later in the year I learned that I am diabetic. So hello, complete lifestyle change. My wife has been an incredible support throughout all of this. She’s even changed her diet alongside me to make it easier for me. I’d be lost without her.
I should be really happy, you know? My book THE NORTH was republished by Severed Press and became one of their bestsellers. I self-published IMMORTAL REMAINS and it is selling like crazy! I’m getting emails from fans wanting to know when they can read the next Tim Reaper book. I’m actually making freaking money off that book. Like, every month there is money in my bank account! Who knew?
The motivation should be there and it isn’t. Health issues have been a black shadow hanging over my household all year. I want to write. I try to write. I fail to write anything that I want to continue writing. I want to be a cheerleader for the folks in my writer’s group and I am having a hell of a time trying to do that because I can’t even help myself.
And I am losing my mind about this because I am a fairly prolific writer. I generally write about two books a year. I’ve been published each year since 2010. I want to be published again in 2017, but right now I’ve got nothing and I’m starting to wonder if I’m going to ever complete another project. (Because one must first have a project they like enough to continue writing and right now everything sucks on an intergalactic scale.)
That’s bleak. I need to get through this.
I want to get that second Tim Reaper book out next summer because the first one is doing so well. I want to get something really great off to my literary agent and I’ve got a couple of projects with potential but the inspiration just isn’t there.
I’m not depressed. I feel good about my life and where I am as I approach fifty years of age. I just can’t seem to break out of this writer’s block and it’s driving me insane.
Rant over. Thanks for reading.
Maybe I need to just let the year slip by and try again on January 1, 2017.