Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I Don't Wanna Write!

As some of you might know, I’m officially on home bed rest due to some risks caused by the minor placental abruption I had a couple weeks ago. In the last week, I’ve discovered there are both good and bad sides of being stuck in bed 90% of the day.

Like discovering your husband is even more awesome than you thought (he really is:). Or realizing you don’t have to worry about what time it is, what’s for dinner, who needs to be where or how they’ll get there. (It took me a few days to figure out that worrying about these things was pointless, since I can’t control how anything’s done from now until the end of February and clucking like a disgruntled hen about how I would do these things only serves to annoy my entourage- which is not in my best interest, really.) 

When I think about it, it’s almost like I’m on a doctor-imposed momcation! I can enjoy my kids and my family, but nobody needs me for anything. It’s both humbling and liberating.

Months ago, while in the throws of reworking my novel, I would have killed for this kind of free time. And yes, one of my first thoughts while settling into invalid life was ‘Well, I guess now I’ll have time for writing and blogging!’

There’s only one problem.

I don’t want to write. I mean, I always want to write. I love writing. But I can’t seem to make myself want it enough right now to actually, well, do it.

I tried, of course. I re-opened the wip I was working on before the agent revisions became my main focus but I couldn’t manage more than a little tweaking of material here and there before I closed it right back up.

It’s not just a question of inspiration or motivation. I think my writer’s block is a reflection of the deep, dark, fundamental thing that makes me write...(cue Creepy’s auto-psychoanalysis) –  which is my irrevocable need/love of escape and adventure. 

And I think this fundamental thing might be different for every person- the driving force that pushes each of us to write in the first place. 

Through the years, I’ve found I write my best material when three situations arise and come to a crossroads:

1- I’m bored out of my mind with life’s monotony. 2- I’m out of things to read (aka distractions). 3- I’m gripped by an idea that pulls me out of my world and into another, thus giving me the exact escape/adventure I’m looking for.

When these three situations meet, I’ll usually find myself sitting months later with a brand new novel in my lap. 

Right now, however, my life isn’t monotonous or boring. It’s been uncharacteristically eventful, frightening, and uncertain- as is my future and the future of our family. Which is why, I think, writer Katie is simply taking a back seat and holding on until she’s needed again (which I pray she will be, and soon:).

What is the fundamental thing that pushes you to write- your writing heart, or center, if you will? Do you think it’s different for everyone? And what situations, have you noticed, have a direct affect on your writing ability/motivation?


Leigh Caron said...

I posted today on inner voices. I think your inner voice is telling your writing muse to take a break while you heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Just a thought.

jabblog said...

Real life taking over and giving you a shock makes other things fall into perspective. At the moment all your energy must go into looking after yourself. There's none left over for creative writing.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've never considered what makes me write - I've ALWAYS done it, therefore to not do it would be very strange.

I think sometimes having a lot of time stretching out ahead of you to do whatever you want means it's much easier to put writing off until tomorrow. The tomorrow comes and you decide to paint your fingernails instead!

You sound like you've got your rest pretty much sorted though - it really does sound quite liberating - especially when you know there's an end in sight!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I love writing when I actually do it. But I'm in a horrible place writing wise where I'm not really writing. My blogging and reading blogs is taking up too much of that little time I have in the day because I also work full-time. For now, I'm just not worrying about it and doing the things I need to do--blog, read (which I also love), work, take care of my family. I know this slow writing time will pass as my time opens up when other things change. That's the best I can come up with for now.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

You are exactly right. You've had a scare, your routine has been turned upside down, and enforced bedrest is really not as fun as it sounds, I bet.

None of those things are good for your muse.

It sounds like a good time to read some books, watch some TV, and wait for boredom to return. I'll bet your muse will show up then!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

For me, it's always a matter of just starting. Tapping those fingers on the keys and letting my thoughts flow. Um...have I been successful with that lately? Nope. And it's been pretty hard because this has never happened to me before. For you, take from your surroundings. Don't even write with any aim. Just write. I bet you'll come up with some amazing material you can use in a future novel. Nothing is wasted.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just let writer Katie sit in the back seat a while. It will be all right.
What fundamental thing? I think my fans. I would've only written one book but they wanted more. And a challenge like NaNo motivates me. I don't like to lose.

Meredith said...

I think a little writing vacation is certainly allowed. I never write well when I'm forcing myself to do it.

jaybird said...

As a former preggo bed rest survivor I will tell you this. I had to stop obsessing about the cobweb in the corner I now saw, but couldn't get, and rejoice that I had a husband who could cook, clean and take care of the other two kids. I didn't feel like writing much either, although I still took a notebook to bed with me and jotted down ideas, as they came to me. Now that my kids are older, I am finally exploring some of those ideas. Your writing time will come, maybe soon, maybe later. Most important thing to remember is take care of you and baby. All the rest of that stuff can wait. :)

Unknown said...

I think mine are essentially the same as yours. When my life is terribly eventful, I have a hard time writing as well. I do my best writing when there is monotony. I like to escape into the story world. And, if I get away from writing for more than a few days, I get this itch to need to create to need to get involved in characters lives. When I read another book and get lost in that story it drives this passion to write even harder. I find myself setting the book down at random moments and pulling out a pen and pad just to get some more story out of my system.
In short, it's a disease and I have no intention of getting rid of it ;)
Give yourself some rest, get lost in a book that really inspires you, and wait and see if that itch doesn't come right back to you.
Keeping you and the fam in our prayers. Many blessings :)

TC Avey said...

I remember when I was on restrictions while pregnant, it had many blessings and frustrations. Looking back I wish I would have used my time more wisely, but oh well.
Good luck and God bless.

Laura S. said...

I'm always more productive when I have limited time. All the time in the world makes it easier to procrastinate. Since you know you have nothing else to do but write right now, it doesn't seem so urgent. So this seems like a great time to take a mental break along with your physical break! Take advantage of your mini momcation!! ;)

Wishing you and baby Mills good health, Katie!

Jessica Bell said...

I find that the more time I have the less I want to write too. Just enjoy the time off. Totally and completely. It's fine to take a break. I did last year, for about 10 months. And I needed it. Maybe you need it? Just veg out and enjoy the ride. Coz come end Feb, well, you know ... :-)

Anonymous said...

Look after yourself, that is the most important thing right now.

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm not really sure what the fundamental force behind my writing is. Against maybe to convince myself that I'm okay?

Either way, I'm sorry to hear that your bedrest isn't working out as far as your writing goes, but don't push it. Everything happens for a reason.

Old Kitty said...

Lovely Katie!! Glad you are resting and are surrounded by your super awesome family! Yay!! I've never really thought about the fundamental profound force that pushes me to write!! I guess it's when I'm o-ding with excitement I'm bursting all over the place! LOL! Take care

LTM said...

Yaaay!!! I had this sneaking suspicion you might enjoy this little bed rest! Enjoy it before baby arrives--LOL! As you know, I know.

Heck, you know, sometimes I just have to make myself start writing. And then it all comes rushing in. The good feelings.

But even if you can't seem to make yourself, enjoy this time! I'm sure you need the break. *hugs* <3

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I totally understand not wanting to write at certain life-stages, like when everything is eventful and busy. And while I'm at a point where I DO want to write a lot (but never get the time) I've had phases where I've gotten very little writing done at all. I'm glad you're enjoying your bed rest, though, even if you're not getting as much writing done as you'd like! :)

Unknown said...

Well, it looks like you can still crank out a blog, because this is a relevant and thoughtful post. As for novel-writer Katie, take care of her and baby. I find it easier to write when there are a few restrictions on my time. It's almost like I feel resentful of the demands, so I insist on balancing the ledger in favor of my book. With a new baby on the way, you should enjoy all the downtime you can get. Hope everything goes well when the time comes!

Slamdunk said...

I hope you feel better soon CQG. It makes no sense, but I write more when I am tired; when I am rested and should be writing, I always find other things to do.

DL Hammons said...

Surprisingly, I'm the most productive (writing-wise) when I'm really supposed to be doing something else. Some of my best scenes and passages have been written at work...with deadlines for real work stuff staring me down. Hmmmmmm??

Hillary said...

Great post! I'm so sorry you're on bed rest, I'm sure boring will kick in before long :)
Until then I totally understand the need to write but have it just not happen :)
I have a strange need to be needed so I almost have to be in a story that needs me to write it for it to really work for me. Weird but so am I! Anyway, good luck!

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

I usually feel pulled to write when I have no time to actually do it. Life likes to flaunt its irony at me.

So sorry you're having a tough time on bed rest. I know it's a pain, not always on a conscious level. But when you're used to doing, it wears on you. And then there's the fear of all that can go wrong. I was on bedrest from week 20 to week 35 when my Little Bean came early, and man it was hard. As for the writing, don't sweat it. You've got enough to worry about. It'll come back to you. And who knows, maybe in another week or two you'll be bored out of your gourd and suddenly start writing like a maniac.

D.G. Hudson said...

What pushes me to write: deadlines, a new scene, an idea that might work, or even seeing something unusual.

Right now, other priorities are taking hold of your life, but writing will still be hanging around when you're ready. Do some 'little writing' if you feel like it. Hubs wrote a welcome short story featuring each kid when they were born, and they absolutely loved reading it as they grew. (he's not a writer per se, but my tech advisor)

Do what you FEEL like doing - 'preggers brain' can affect clear thinking (I know from experience).

Sorry for my late arrival at this discussion, time has been short lately.

Laura Pauling said...

I'm not sure being on bed rest would make for the best writing time either. I'm not sure what that magical recipe is that pushes me to write. Def. some days more than others i'm more motivated though.

Hope everything's okay!

Unknown said...

Like you, I used to write because I was bored or wanted something fun to read. I also wrote because I wanted to make the world (at least the one in my novels) a better place, where evil got vanquished and good-guys always triumphed. But I never expected this hobby could be so challenging, take up so much time, and sadly, hurt so much. I'm on an extended sabbatical from writing now.
Wishing you the best of health. ♥ ♥ ♥


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