Writing Process Blues

Autumn is here.

Rain has been falling all day, making whispers when it hits the leaves or the ground or the wood of the deck. We ran the air conditioning all summer, and this is what we were trying to reproduce–a raw, wild chill that makes your fingers beg for a hot mug to curl around. The sky is overcast but bright, and falling acorns crack against the roof and tumble to the ground.

The soundtrack: Child of Light by Coeur de Pirate.

The beverage: hot chai tea.

The candle: “Divination Classroom” by Frostbeard Studio.

The dogs are snoring gently. The husband is out to lunch with a friend from Maine visiting for the day. Everything is perfectly set to get some writing done.

And I can’t.

It’s not that I can’t. It’s that I feel weird about it. I’m in one of those funks that every writer inevitably gets–not a block, exactly. More like a feeling of guilt that what I’m doing isn’t enough, that the story isn’t good enough, I’m not thinking or working hard enough. I feel lost. Part of this is because I just had to majorly rework my timeline. As I kept writing, I realized that the original frame wasn’t going to work. I needed to compress it. Doing so took a full day’s work and a massive headache from all that thinking. And now I have to write it.

Part of why I enjoy writing on my lunch breaks during the work week is that it’s structured–I have a finite amount of time to take and something I must do while I take it. It gets done. On a long, lazy day like this, it’s so much harder to be productive.

I have to remind myself that it’s okay to not be hurling myself after my goal 100% of the time every day. Downtime is allowed. Daydreaming is allowed.

Can the creative brain really thrive without it?

It’s a matter of making sure that downtime and daydreaming aren’t all you do.

In fact, this blog post warmed me up. I’d better get writing.

What do you think?

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