Is This Writer’s Block?

I’ve Hit the Wall

I’ve hit a wall with my writing. Somehow I feel empty, as though the creative well has run dry. Maybe it’s because I’ve finally finished my novel and am in the revision stage—the hardest stage for me I’ve discovered. Maybe it’s because we went on a wonderful vacation to Norway which I’ve been uninspired to write about, or because I brought home a horrible cold which turned into bronchitis and am still recovering. Maybe it’s because I will be teaching again in the fall and my mind has already turned to what I will have to teach rather than turning inward to my creative inner world. Whatever the reason, I feel lost, like a part of my soul is missing.

After the past year of being unemployed I had the utter luxury of spending every day for as long as I needed or wanted to work on my manuscript. I know others write in the wee hours after their families are in bed. Still others write early in the morning before their families get up, but I have had the complete fantasy writing gig of getting my husband off to work, walking the dog or running, then coming home to spend all afternoon writing. At times I’m embarrassed I only finished a novel, but I know how lucky I’ve been.

Help!

I’m writing this post for help! What words of wisdom do my fellow writers have for me concerning revision? What can I do to prime the pump and feel the richness of my imagination flowing forth again? How can I set up a new routine in the midst of working a demanding teaching job; where can I carve out those moments I need to survive?

With only a month left before I go back to the classroom, I want to accomplish as much as possible. I’ve decided to come up with a pretty regimented schedule which will include free writing and also beginning a new project. Revision is rewarding. I can finally see the whole picture and understand what must be changed and moved and tweaked and refined, but spilling a first draft onto the page is different. I miss being wrapped and rapt in the creative vision.

The Plan

Here’s the plan I’ve set forth for now to overcome my creative paralysis. If you have suggestions, please tell me. If you have words of wisdom, please let me know.

  1. Begin the writing day with free writing exercise or prompt for 10-20 minutes a day. I have to do something to prime the pump!
  2. Revise my novel for at least one hour/day, more if the work is going well, which I hope will be most days.
  3. Work on queries and synopsis for one hour per day.
  4. Work on social media for one hour per day to promote my author platform.
  5. Work on my blog one hour /day.

I need to crush this wall before it crushes me, so I’m putting this plan into action for now.  I’ll adjust if the writing or revising is going poorly or well, but I do want to accomplish my goals for this year. What routines have you come up with that help nurture your writing in the midst of chaos, a job, or the demands of life?

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