Summoning the Will to Write

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We’re halfway through NaNoWriMo. If you’re ahead, behind or right on schedule, as long as you are still putting in the time and the word count; I salute you. Personally I expect to reach 40.000 words today, which is amazing but mostly surprising. I have no idea how this happened, though I’m glad it did because I am barely in chapter 4 and need to get as far above 50.000 as possible before November is over and I have to turn my attention back to Spiralling.

I have been very much living inside my own head this week. I’ve barely checked my private messages, let alone kept up with whatever is happening on Twitter or in the NaNoWriMo forums. I want to be involved and engaged, but for some reason interacting with people – or even just reading about other people interacting with each other – has seemed like too much of an effort this week. Instead I have been focused on my own writing and hung out with all the voices in my head.

The writing is going pretty well, though. I’ve just reached my favorite part of Parker’s story and it is one of the darkest and most violent sequences in the whole trilogy, so I’m very excited for all the torture and pain. But since I’ve been so focused on the NaNo-ing, I didn’t really think much about what I wanted to blog about this week. So here I sit, fingers on keyboard, with no idea what I want to say to the world on this beautiful, grey Saturday morning.

Seriously, I’ve got nothing. This is worse than when I get stuck with my novels because at least then I can just check my outline and see what I need to write next. I don’t have an outline for blog topics. I have even been Googling things I could blog about and nothing feels right. So if there are no objections, I think I’ll just make a little list of things I normally do when I feel stuck like this. When it feels like I have nothing to say despite there being a billion things in my head that I would actually like to say.

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Totally Panic

Hey, I didn’t say this was going to be a list of helpful things I do. Right now, for example, I am so stressed out I cannot even tell you. There is a budding anxiety attack in my chest right now that I am fighting against with swords and shields and a shiny red cape. Every word I type is accompanied by a shudder and the thought what the fuck are you doing.

There is a numb feeling in my stomach that tries to physically stop my hands from typing. But I know I have to make it through this crappy part because it’s not like it comes with a freaking off-button. The only way out is through, so I let the panic take over for just a few minutes. I let it do its thing; let it wreck my insides until there is nothing left but a hollow wreck of a person.

Then I move on to step two.
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Soak Up Inspiration

Books, movies, artwork, poetry, music… When I feel like everything I have to say is crap, I load up my brain with as much inspiration as possible. One might even say I overload on inspiration to the point where all I can do is marvel at how there are so many beautiful things in the world created by people far more talented than me who knew what the hell they were doing.

That mood only lasts a short while, though. Following the immediate after-shock of processing so many amazing things, there is a moment of pure inspiration. Once the insecurities pass, the good thoughts come back. Why can’t I create something like that? I have all kinds of great things to say. There is so much awesome inside me just waiting to be contributed to the world. Every single person who created all these things that make me feel good, there was a time they hated their work and their brain just as much as me. They pushed through it and got something incredible out of it. What’s to stop me doing the same?

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Remind Myself Why

Why did I want to do this in the first place? What was the reason I decided to start this incredible, intense and fucking horrifying journey in the first place? Are all those reasons still valid? What other reasons have been added to the list since I started? When I feel like giving up, it is so important to remind myself of the answers to those questions.

I want to be a writer because it is the only thing in this world I am truly passionate about. When I close my eyes and picture myself living my ideal life with a job that feels more like a burning need than actual work, I see myself in a beautiful office in my own home where I spend hours a day writing, outlining and overdosing on coffee.

I want to write the characters in my head because there are so many ways my life would have been easier if only I could have seen myself in more of the great stories I read. If my characters can make even one teenage girl think she’s not as alone as she though, that she’s not the only person in the world like her, then it’s worth it. If I can make one person think “this is the story I wanted when I was young”, then it’s worth it.

I want to tell these stories and share the fantasy world of Hurst because it’s where I found my home. It’s where I found my voice. It’s where I go when the world is too hard and I need to close my eyes and run away. Hurst is a better escape than any place I have ever gone in my head – and I have gone to a lot of places in my head. I want to take other people there and let them see just how magical it really is.

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See? And just like that, I feel motivated to get back to work. Getting started is always the hardest part, especially when you feel stuck and your mind is just a blank canvas. I know I have shared this video so very many times, but I am doing it again because what Rachael Stephen says in this pep talk is exactly what I did today. I showed up. And eventually, so did my Writer Self.

Your turn.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a novel to write.

Rain S.
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2 thoughts on “Summoning the Will to Write

  1. Thank you for this. Even though I’m not writing currently, reading this helped calm my brain down. You see I’m lying awake two hours past my bedtime absolutely wrecked with anxiety over a batch of cookies that flopped.
    Cookies.
    As in, the edible kind.
    I promised them to my future in laws for Thanksgiving, even though this has been the third year in a row the recipe has failed me. I threw the recipe away.
    Every part of me is trying to figure out a way to fix this, despite knowing there will be so much food and sweets next week no one will care about missing cookies.
    But it really doesn’t matter. Sometimes failing is taking a step forward regardless of the circumstances. And everything will be all right in the end.
    All I have to do is show up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Oh wow, that sounds so familiar – anxiety is a bitch at times like that 😦 I hope you get through it in one piece and it all works out! And I’m very happy if my post helped even just a little.

      Liked by 1 person

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