Saturday, October 9, 2010

Autumnal Blahhhhs (and Cure for:)

I appear to be suffering from late-autumn burn out.

Winter comes early here. High winds have relieved the trees of their leaves, and we've had a couple of heavy frosts and wimpy snow storms. Thick snow marches down the mountainsides, stealing color from us each night as we sleep. This after a "summer" where we set a record for consecutive rainy days. And I've been sick for something like a month. All and all, a bad fall for yours truly.

So how do I combat this? What little steps do I take to keep myself writing despite the fact that my brain has ceased functioning, either due to illness or medication? How do I stay inspired when I realize, 60,000 words into a story, that I made an essential error in plotting in the first 10,000 and will now have to undo each and every stitch, rewire the entrails, and zip it back up? (Yes, I do recognize how utterly un-smooth that analogy was.)

This is when I dive back into my "Ideas and Starts" files. The sterling story ideas that never took off, the characters that talked smart but hadn't found anything to do, the glorious worlds I'd conceived but then left unpopulated. I realize that I don't have to have a great idea today. I just have to sit here long enough to bang out an ending for the great idea I had last year. Blog chains help, because they obligate me to create something, and because reading all the other posts helps on the inspiration front.

So tell me, how do you overcome the blahs?


  1. I just push on, even if I have to restitch and rewire. Even when sick and on meds. Onward.

    In On Writing, Stephen King writes about going on, even when the going is hard. Because sometimes you're writing prose that sings, and other times you feel like you're shoveling shit from a sitting position.

  2. Ace, you and Stephen King have inspired me. I will be a good girl and spend the next hour shoveling shit from a sitting position. Maybe I'll find a usable sentence in it somewhere. Or a lost diamond ring. Or a human finger bone.

    Also, this working on holidays stinks (unrelated to previous paragraph).