Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December's Insecure Writer's Support Group Post

Monthly posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group is brought to you by Alex J Cavanaugh, The Insecure Writer's Support Group page, insecure writers like YOU and ME...

...and the letter I.


I'm going to be perfectly honest with you all: I have no idea what to post! I'm not feeling particularly insecure, despite the fact I epically failed NaNo last month. Nor am I feeling dazzlingly inspirational or clever in the realm of writing wisdom. No "rah rah rah" cheering, no cut-and-paste from Quote Garden.

If I had to place specific words or phrases to how I'm feeling this IWSG Day, I'd go with "left out" and "confused". You see, there's always been this writing-shaped hole in my soul. I simply can't not write. And yet, I don't. Confused? Here, maybe this is a better way of explaining it. I've written stories since I was old enough to string words together into intelligible sentences. I have no less than 60 (yes, SIXTY) book ideas in various stages of completion - most of them are nothing more than a few sentences of summary. They are all there, waiting, pleading, beckoning with siren song.

And I turn away.

I cringe at the thought of turning on my computer (or I did before my computer died [RIP HP laptop]) and it takes every ounce of brain power I can conjure to type more than a couple of pages before I exhale loudly, pat myself on the back for "putting in my time" at the computer and gleefully log off and bury myself in someone else's written world.

It's not Writer's Block.

It's apathy and I'm ashamed to admit it.

I've become apathetic to writing.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever simultaneously feared writing and NOT writing? Have you ever shrugged your shoulders and thought, "Meh. Why write anyway?" This hasn't been a recent development; it's been ongoing for many, many, many years. I do really well when I'm being lorded over by a professor, a deadline and a grade point average. Left to my own deadlines and desires, however, I am found lacking and severely wanting. I stick my head and heart into the words of others and pine away for my own stories peaking out from shelves, file folders and tote bags. It's an aching of creator seeking creation and a bridge between the two.

Argh! I'm not even sure if this post is right for the IWSG. Maybe I'd be better off if I only had one idea at a time. A friend of mine tells me all the time how she envies the fact I have multiple stories rolling around in my head. Oh, don't envy! It's like having multiple personalities all vying for your utmost attention. So I turn them all away and stick my head in ink and paper.

Tell me, is there an app that can open up my brain, vacuum it out, and start over? A re-boot creativity button? Maybe I've read too many science fiction novels.


Sorry for the less than cheery post today. On top of all of this internal turmoil, AND the fact we're still living out of cardboard boxes, we just got some less than excellent news. I'm a great big floundering mess, aren't I?

Where's my Battle Droid? I need to blast something...


  1. I think this is perfect for IWSG, and I,totally understand. This year I've come out of a period of years of this same kind of apathy, and sometimes it is something I push through out of sheer force of will. Probably why my current state of not writing is so frightening...

  2. Oh Jen, I wish I could travel through cyberspace and give you a solid hug!
    I'm sure lots of writers feel this way from time to time...
    Hang in there!
    I love your voice (I think I've told you a hundred times already...LOL) and can't wait to read your day...

  3. Feared writing and not writing -- that was my first day of Nano and I won. Don't let it stop you either.

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

  4. For me, writing is a lot of ups and downs, and I'm learning to ride out the "downs" because I know they won't last. It might feel like they will, but they won't. Hang in there - I know, easier said than done. You'll find your way....

  5. Sorry to read that you're in a writing funk. Hope you find your way out soon. Maybe a new place to write, like a cafe with a fun holiday drink.

  6. I've felt this way lots. Personally, I don't need a brain vacuum, but a machine that interprets the story images in my brain straight to the written word. Wouldn't that be awesome!?

    Anyway, I don't know that I have any advice. My apathy comes in waves. I've learned to write like crazy when I can and deal with brain overload when I can't. All I can say is good luck! Here's the link to my IWSG post--

  7. Yes! I get apathetic in between every project. (Which is why my books are so few and in between.) What gets me to complete one is a detailed plan and then I just make the decision that I'm going to do it.

  8. This is a perfect IWSG post. I have felt this way often. I don't really have any advice, as I've just within the last couple years started to write all the stories in my head. Have you ever put yourself in a position of having accountability? Take a community creative writing course where you're required to show what you've written that week, or do what I did a couple years ago - challenge a friend to a writing duel. We shared a google document and every day we were required to write 500 words. They could be the same story, or lots of different ones, but we had to write every day. That exercise was one of the things that helped me to really get into a good habit of writing every day.
    Good luck!
    AJ @ Naturally Sweet

  9. It's a well written rant. I love reading your descriptions. I am patiently waiting for your words to come out and enter my hands and head. Keep at it. I suppose focus is your biggest issue. If you could find a way to rope that in and set deadlines, or find an accountability partner, you will have success.
    Play off the Page

    PS: Did you see the movie Interstellar? It reminds me very much of "A Wrinkle in Time."

  10. I understand completely. There have been plenty of times I know I have the time and energy to write, but then I don't. Sometimes I think I'm just overwhelmed by what I want to get done and doing nothing is easier. Whatever the reason, you're not alone in that feeling.

  11. Apathy? Oh yeah, I know that word well. It comes for months on end, but I've learned not to worry about it. If we're to write, we will write. If not, is that a sin? Life has so many things to, who knows when the next writing idea will suddenly kick in.

  12. I can definitely relate. It's hard to write when you're making your own deadlines (or not even trying to make them). It's hard to even find the desire to write.

  13. Been there, Jen. Sounds like a lot of us have. Sometimes, too many ideas is worse than not any. When I can't pick one, I don't pick any. Bad news. Maybe put the ideas in a hat and draw one. Who knows??? Best wishes.

  14. I experienced that one. Sometimes nothing seems to work... even your desire to write fizzles out. But I guess it's just a temporary slump. Hang in there. Things will get better. Take care.

  15. It's really hard to motivate yourself when you feel like you've lost the war for so long. Why not start doing something shorter, a piece of flash fiction can be hammered away in a single day and the sense of completing something may improve your desire to write. Try writing by hand, also. I have written many stories like that, when I feel like this will be a short thing that I can just scribble here. It takes off the block of "Oh, Im seriously committing to this humongous thing that'll take months or years!"

    Best of luck! Hopefully you'll find what makes it work for you soon.


Thank you for taking the time out of your busy, fantastic life to pay a visit! I appreciate every, single comment and I'll continue the conversation here :) It makes this big blog-verse of ours feel a little more like home.

Cheers! ~J