I seem to be in a reading and writing funk these days.
Apparently I’m unable to sit for more than 5 minutes and read a book. I just can’t concentrate on anything! But because it’s not an option for me to just…NOT read, I decided to read a book about an 8th grader: After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick. It’s helping. I’m actually able to read more than one paragraph at a time. The voice is truly refreshing. I think sometimes it’s good to step outside of the comfort zone.
The writing funk is a much bigger problem. I started on a novel this summer called Here Now and I abandoned it in September to work on a short story and a writing exercise that included 3 chapters of a middle grade novel. You’re probably wondering why on earth I’m suddenly writing and reading middle grade, so I should clarify that, at this time, I’m not actually striving to write novels for this audience. But writing for kids is a big part of my day job and I like to get into it every once and a while. And, of course, my employer is the only person who pays me to write, so it occurred to me that maybe I should practice it more.
Anyway, I’m done with my random 3 chapter exercise and the short story is boring me. So, it’s time to go back to Here Now. There are a lot of things that excite me about the book. The premise. The main character. The setting. Some new friends my main character just met on the beach even. But, I dread sitting down to write it each day. The blank page is paralyzing me. And this means that when I get home I make dinner and the television goes on. And even thought I say 9pm is when I will start writing, I watch the clock slip and I do not go into my little room to write. I just…don’t.
The truth is, I can not bear to think that I’m in this one for the long haul. 80,000 words? Night after night struggling to get 1,000 words on the page? The next 2 years of my life dedicated to this beast? It sounds like absolute torture.
And I’m wondering, does this kind of thing excite a real writer? Am I not a real writer because this does not sound appealing to me? Or do some of you guys feel this way on occasion?
Sometimes, I wonder if the task of writing can get in the way of the love for it. What to do when writing feels like a chore? Please help!