I feel this overwhelming resistance to working on my current novel. Once I start writing (which I still do, every day), the words flow, but for the past couple of days sitting down to write feels like forcing myself through quicksand. I want to understand why so I can overcome it.
Could it be because choosing to write–or not to write–is something within my control, while other things feel pretty out of control right now?
Or maybe I’m feeling unworthy of writing this particular story. I want to write a story that’s as good as the fantasy novels I’ve loved, and I’m stunted by that thought perhaps.
When creating a first draft, I usually let the story flow the way it wants to, and I don’t read back through it until the second draft stage. However, today I wanted to post a line from my work in progress on Twitter for #1lineWed (one-line Wednesday), when writers from all over tweet a line or two from their manuscripts in response to a weekly theme, this week’s theme being “action.”
As I skimmed through my YA fantasy novel for an action line, I found myself really liking much of what I’d written so far. Did this encourage me? Maybe a little, but like a cranky toddler I’m still resistant to returning to write more.
As I struggle through these feelings, I have to remind myself of a kind of epiphany I had after many years of young adult procrastination–like forgetting to pay my car registration then getting pulled over for expired tags, and other self-sabotaging attempts to control things by NOT doing them. Here’s the saying I try to live by: That which you fear most, face first.
When I started doing this, my life became less chaotic and much more livable. I still stumble. For instance, I have a major project to complete at work, which I’ve been putting off for, um, weeks now, so today have to go in to work–on Veterans Day holiday–to complete (okay, START) the project. The stakes are high, the work must get done, so I just need to face it.
About writing, the irony is that when I give myself permission to NOT write, I still do it because there’s nothing else I’d rather do. And whatever the writing crisis might be, the advice I always get from established writers is: WRITE THROUGH IT.
So now I’m off to complete that project at work. And I’ll also put in more work on my new novel. Yes, I’ll probably have to force myself to sit at my desk and get started, but eventually the writing resistance will pass– as it always has before.