Let's Talk Drought

6:00 AM

So Nano is next month. *cue the screaming* I'm super pumped to be writing a brand new project! I love the first drafting process, and the chance that November gives me to revel in that. Normally I spend October on planning posts that are focused on developing book ideas, characters, settings, etc. But in light of the recent hiatus, I felt that the blog was in need of a different sort of planning month.

So. Let's talk drought.



What exactly is a drought? Or, in writer lingo, a creative dry season?

There are many definitions, and many aspects of a dry season, but for this post I'm going to assign writing dryness a simple definition.

No motivation. 

When you're in a dry season, you have no motivation to do anything. You might want to do something. You might want to write that blog post or edit that chapter, but when you sit down you just ... can't. It's like someone's stacked bricks on your arms and locked your brain in a closet under your grandmother's staircase. You want to work in a logical sense, but your spirit just isn't there. Your spirit wants to watch Netflix for three hours or curl up and sleep. Or read that book that's been on your shelf since last April. Or play Settlers of Catan with your little siblings. Or--

You get the point. When you're in a dry season, anything looks better than writing. Writing, which was once this glamorous, enticing escape from the monotonous reality we all live in, is now something you dread. It's something you try to avoid thinking about, and quite possibly hide from.

And sometimes it's something you don't think about at all, and it's not intentional. That's almost worse than avoiding it on purpose. Because you can't help it if you don't consciously think about your book often. You can go days--weeks, even--without your characters coming to mind even once, and then before you realize it, it's been a month since you even touched your third draft.

Anyone relate?

I lasted a long time before hitting major dry seasons, and I think there's a reason for that. We all write because we love it and like doing it, to some extent. But there comes a point in every writer's journey when the like of writing, the desire for it, the drive to do edits and make your mess of a novel a masterpiece becomes ... work.

Because, to some extent, that's what writing is for us writers. If you're in it for the long haul, if you're serious about your writing, if you want to craft a good story ... then it's going to take work.

And sometimes, work just isn't fun.

I don't have the answers. If I'm being honest with you all, I'm still in this dry season. I haven't touched my edits in exactly a week. Two years ago, that would never have happened. But nowadays, it's a common occurrence.

Now. Am I just trying to drudge up unpleasant facts, or is there a point to what I'm saying?

There is a point, believe it or not. The point is this: if you acknowledge that writing is hard, and that writing takes work, you won't be taken by surprise when it begins to feel like it. You won't be taken by the fear that you're doing something wrong, that you've messed up somehow because this isn't what you signed up for. You'll be ready to tackle that dry period with determination.

We'll talk more next week on what that looks like. But for now, I want you to think about your writing routines. What do you do when sitting down to write or edit? What do you think about to get yourself in the zone? How do you approach writing, and what makes you stick with a project?

I'll see you next week!

<3

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