Now What?

I’ve been gravely wounded. By that Kraken… the demon monster that haunts the wee hours of every writer’s mind. That moment every writer dreads. The point in time where the vast chasms of your mind are filled with a million great plot points and captivating characters but they just can’t make their way onto the page (or screen… let’s be real.  This is 2019). I’m afflicted. I’m beaten down… by writer’s block.

They say it happens to everyone, but since I conveniently and lazily spread out the writing of my first novel over a span of four years, I never had moments like these. Now that I’m attempting to write the sequel to The Darkest Current, and probably DON’T have four years to do it if I want it to be remotely applicable to any reader who’s read the first one, I now find myself completely annoyed with… myself.

I know what I want to say and do, and just can’t do it. Everything comes out jarbled and uninteresting, whereas in my mind’s eye, the story is colorful, intriguing… you name the juicy adjective, it applies.  But I can’t translate that to actual words. I’m supposed to be a writer… not a thinker. Thinkers live in their own worlds. Writers share their thoughts with the world around them. Writers give. But right now… I have nothing to give.

But enough dwelling in my own pity party. This is where practice comes in. I must continue to write. Whether it’s ten words a day, or 1000. Whether I delete it all at the end because it actually is the garbage I’m sure it is, or whether a few words can be salvaged, I must keep going. Or I’ll get worse.

Isn’t that what life is like? We get stuck. And we get frustrated. And we wonder, “why bother?” More often than not I find this with physical exercise, which at it’s very core, I loathe. I get motivated by some new routine for a week or two and then I hit a wall and say, “I’ll just take today off.” And then three months later I look back and realize that one day turned into 90 without a second thought.

As a music teacher by trade, I often tell my kids… “if you keep messing up on a measure… play it 3 times, but then keep going. It’s okay to move forward even if it’s not 100% there and come back to it later… or you’ll just get stuck there.”

Such is life. We have to just keep moving forward. Even if it’s only an inch a day.

So, today I will write. It will probably be worthless and probably be just five words. But I’ll do it. Because if I don’t at least try, I’ll just be here lashing out at the Kraken for eternity.

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