I’ve been stuck with a blank mind on BOTH of my works in progress for about the last three months.
And NOW I’m at the point where it’s almost intimidating to go back: what if everything I’ve done is terrible? Or, if it’s good, what if I’ve totally lost the ability to write like that?? Or what if it’s terrible AND I’ve lost the ability to do it?!?!?
Obviously this is brain-weasels running amok but it’s still giving me a hard time.
So, I tried some “not-writing,” per Turbo Monkey’s Sarah McGuire (and added her book Valiant to my TBR pile while I was at it). That… didn’t get me unstuck. I’ve had great success with that approach in the past (especially during college, where my roommates would all watch me playing Snood and ask tentatively how the essay was going) but unfortunately my mental landscape just looked like
Then I tripped over Tess Hilmo’s “Best Plot Help Ever,” a little paper foldable that sounded cute and fun and sort of like those MASH things or a ‘flapdoodle’ (srs education term for a folded-up/cut paper study aid) and I decided I would try one of those for each WIP and see if any gears started turning.
I’ve been in one of those emotional fugue states where very little gets done that isn’t absolutely necessary – so I’ve definitely blown it re: this year’s resolution to blog weekly. Hmm. Perhaps, since it’s the solstice, I’ll have a mid-year reboot?
Or perhaps not.
I’ve been re-reading old favorite books, playing with a toddler, and watching my husband play the video game I got him for Valentine’s Day, so for once I’ve been busy with good things… but very busy, nonetheless.
I’ve also been doing some research for my WIPs and absolutely ignoring the fact that I should be prepping for the fall (I’m teaching English 10, which I haven’t taught in 10 years, so… basically a new class). It’s been great!
I keep telling myself that fallow periods are important for creativity, but it’s still a bummer. At least I’ve got a writing group to yell at me (in a good-natured way) when I fail to produce. Outside accountability is very important to me!
Today’s Friday, and I’ve had a nice, relaxing evening – play with baby, watch Project Runway with Cam, drink a glass of wine that made me want to go to sleep immediately, etc.
Tomorrow we go to Cincinnati for a craft show, and to visit my family, and we’ll be back Sunday, and then three days of school and then we’re hosting Thanksgiving, and the someting-something-Friendsgiving-idk and then work and then the first weekend in December I’m going on a road trip to Chicago to sell more cutting boards while Cameron goes to do the same in Philly. And then… finals and Christmas!
So… I’m starting to have that glazed-eye look and short fuse that signal it’s mid-November! WATCH OUT, HAHA!
In more cheerful news, my advisory did the #mannequinchallenge:
Well, I’ve done it again–in my household we call it “gooning yourself,” but elsewhere it would just be called “staying up way too late goofing off and accomplishing nothing except ending up overtired tomorrow.”
See why we just say “gooning”?
So, in addition to gooning myself sleep-wise, I gooned myself writing-wise and have run out of time to do either.
Everyone has get-rich-quick schemes, but as somebody with an infant, I’ve been thinking a lot more lately about passive income (“get-rich-slowly-but-steadily,” maybe?).
I’m currently “supervising” anime club, by which I mean I’m updating my blog instead of grading papers and the anime club is watching netflix on my projector. I had lots of plans to use this chunk of time productively. Some of the better ones:
Work on writing (too distracting in case of emergency–the anime club does occasionally require some supervision and/or intervention from an adult).
Publish lesson plans and materials that I’ve developed over the last ten years to Teachers Pay Teachers (requires a lot of polishing and also double checking that I’m posting my stuff, not stuff I begged/stole/borrowed ten years ago).
Draw line-art for a literary coloring book (coloring books are in right now and I’m a huge nerd with passable drawing skills… this idea has merit, but I’m not sure where to start).
Start querying for a line of children’s board books based on famous classic (read: old enough to be out of copyright) American poetry (this is also a good idea, because baby lit is trending and also the baby book market is crowded but much of it is grim in terms of stuff that isn’t stultifying to the adult or too complex for the baby, in my nine months of experience).
Update my blog (the current winner).
So, I guess I’ll close with a question…
What scene from literature would you like to color in first?
I’m thinking I’ll probably start with stuff to go with Romeo and Juliet, since my frish-frosh will be reading that in a few weeks. Or maybe some poetry, which they’re starting later this month…