Backlog

Shadowy stack of papersWhen tasks pile up, they clog the pathways of creativity.

On my writing to-do list for weeks: typing drafts that were completely written by hand, maintaining this blog, researching story details, and preparing submissions.

My writing group has presented challenges and new ideas flit around my imagination, but how could I draft new material while my older work isn’t moving? All new ideas crawl into hidey-holes when I attempt to coax them onto paper.

Exacerbating the blockage is guilt that I’m not making the right choices: I’ve been relaxing too much on the weekends…If I went to bed immediately when I got home, then I wouldn’t be too tired to write at lunch…

And there is the type of fear that entangles the mind.

The two short story drafts I have recently wanted to complete are too dark or require material that is too unfamiliar, I think. People could be offended by them. Maybe? Last week, I decided to blaze through one of these stories only to discover that I had destroyed the first half and accompanying notes the same day they were written. Was it really that bad?!

There’s only one thing to do. It is time for spring cleaning, after all.

Bring on the rest of the weekend! I’m going to clear the clog.

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4 thoughts on “Backlog

  1. Oh, Ann!
    These moments pass, and can lead to such improvements in our writing.

    I don’t think fear of what other’s want to read should influence you. Offend, scare, it’s what makes great works.

    1. Jennifer, I guess I’m concerned that I will spend months torturing myself to write a story that no one will want to read because it’s too uncomfortable. I have an average of two, nonconsecutive hours for writing, reading, and researching a day, and I don’t want to feel like those hours are negatively impacting my life.

      So…maybe it’s not other people’s potential opinions that I fear. It’s my own.

      Am I really comfortable writing about a child whose best option is to return to an abusive household? Do I really need to experience how a fictional creature learns about human grief?

      Huh. Thanks. You guided me to questions I should have asked myself before.

      What does the author need from the story?

  2. I tend to agree with Jennifer. These moments do pass! I also have plenty of unfinished work hanging there just waiting for the right time. Eventually that right time comes..

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