Reblog: When Inspiration Has Fled the House–Writer’s Pause

Today, I thought I’d reblog something from 2010 back when I was fumbling with The Six Train to Wisconsin first draft.

Working on the end of my third book this week, I swore this was the only book where I didn’t quite know what I was doing. Glad I reread this post and realized that’s actually the norm. 🙂

“…When I have a headache, inspiration has fled the house. I look at my outline and gulp. I have to figure out the scenes needed to get from point A to point B. And shit, I didn’t work out how certain things feel/work. Holy Hell. This is gonna suck…”

You can read the entire post here:

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16 Responses to Reblog: When Inspiration Has Fled the House–Writer’s Pause

  1. kford2007 says:

    Funny, I sent an e-mail to some friends of mine last night that said “I give up.” I was done, fed up, inspiration gone. I didn’t want to write on my blog anymore, my novels, my short stories, nothing. No one was following my blog or my Tweets, it felt like I was beating my head against a wall. one of my friends e-mailed me back with some words of wisdom: stick your chin up and keep moving. Bad things happen. How you deal with them is what sets you apart. She’s right. So I set out to write more on my novel, begrudgingly and cursing every word because my heart’s not in it, but I have to keep on. We all have to keep moving if we are to land that book deal, no matter how much we want to throw in the towel. We’ll find our groove and we’ll plow through the headaches and feelings of unworthiness. Writers are the worst kinds of masochists. We can’t help ourselves. We aren’t happy unless we sit down to write and open a vein. Here’s to your inspiration and finding your groove, my dear. I’m right there with you.

    • Jenny, sometimes we need to give up. Just to remind ourselves that we can opt out of writing. That makes it a choice and something we want to come back to. I’ve been blogging for a few years and I’ve noticed May is a great month for hittage, but June, July, and August are the worst. So maybe scale back a bit on the blog and Twitter those months and concentrate your energy on writing your novel? And it’s always okay to take a vacation or a staycation where you stay home and read tons of books, see friends, and don’t work on your novel.

      The hardest thing I taught myself to do is: draft bad scenes. Just let the words puke all over your screen. Bad dialogue tags, cliches, terrible setting. Just roughly sketch out what needs to happen. And then revise the heck out of it later. 🙂

      Today I finished my 1K and thought well that’s terrible. I’m worried it doesn’t even work or advance the ending. But tomorrow I’ll come back and throw down another 1k. And eventually, I’ll finish drafting. And that’s the first goal I need to meet. 🙂

      I’m with you too! Keep typing. I’m sending you a big *hug* to help you through the day.

  2. When you’re stuck in the mud, shove some boards under the tires and keep trying? (enjoyed both posts)

  3. crubin says:

    I left a comment on the original post. I think we can all relate. 🙂

  4. When inspiration vanishes, I do chores. Usually editing chores. Boring boring chores 🙂

  5. jmmcdowell says:

    I like the phrase writer’s pause better than writer’s block. I can empathize with your earlier post. My revisions to this draft are like pulling teeth. I keep telling myself to just get something down. Then I can work from that. Argh!

    • JM, I think the hardest thing a writer has to do is give herself permission to write crap. The second hardest is to give herself time away from her work. When I do a read through for revisions, my notes are really basic like “I’m bored” or “awkward” or “so what?” It’s hard to articulate what isn’t working in a useful way. But from those first comments, I can usually explain better what the issue is and then brainstorm a way to fix it. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Once you clear them out of your head, you sometimes find a nugget of gold. 🙂

  6. mj monaghan says:

    Hey Kourtney, hope the book is coming along well, and that you’re enjoying your Eastern summer. Pretty hot out your way?

    • Thanks MJ. I think I’ve got a few more days of drafting ahead. I underestimated how long it would take to end it. Need 3-4 more days. Ugh, the heat wave is unbearable. Safely tucked inside the AC.

  7. this is what I felt last week. I was in total overwhelm and crazy making time. so I got off the train for a bit to re-group and re-access my inspiration. I’m late to this post but am feeling so much better. thx

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