Wednesday, August 3, 2016

First World Writer Problems: The Struggle Is Real

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By J.C. Lynne

I know writers constantly battle writer's block. I've faced the demon Blank Page on occasion. There are countless memes, exercises, motivational pieces, and profound quotes on pushing through that brick wall. I have a significantly different problem.

I have too much swirling around in my head to pin any one project down.

  • I'm plowing through the third book in The Esau Continuum. 
  • My literary novel about Hell squats peering at me from my desk, the outline nearly completed. 
  • I need to send a manuscript to my new voice actor to begin the audiobook process for The Esau Emergence.
  • My yoga project remains at the forefront of my priorities which involves a new website, a new FB and Twitter account and a brand.
  • Topping it off a sneaky murder mystery I've been working on is whispering incessantly creating a lovely piquant of white noise over everything else. 

I know exactly what my next step needs to be but I'm feeling so bogged down with project juju I lift my foot to put it back down again. In the meantime, I'm sinking where I stand. 

Somehow I feel this abundance of ideas and work shouldn't feel like a burden. After all, nothing seems more futile than sitting in front of a blank screen watching the curser mock me. Or sinking into the blackhole of research, which must be done. The immobility has become so dire I'm actually caught up on laundry!

Sure I have three more books I need to read for reviews. Of course, I have marketing work to get out for NCW. I've taught forty-eight fitness classes in July alone. It's not like I'm frozen. I've pulled weeds...twice! My house is relatively clean. I can do everything it seems except focus on writing. 

Each time I turn to writing projects it's like stepping into a room full of four year-olds clamoring for snacks. Each one of the kiddos pushes and shoves for their spot in the limelight. 

I know, I know quit my whining and get to writing.


Patricia Stoltey said...

I could have written this post, J.C. It doesn't seem that bad to have lots of ideas and lots of irons in the fire...until we overload and overcommit.

JC Lynne said...

Right?! I'll spend some time revamping my calendar to squeeze extra writing time into my days. Of course, the offspring will probably starve.

April Moore said...

I seem to spend more time organizing my writing life so I can write more, than I do actual writing.

David Sharp said...

And then on top of all that, you're expected to sleep sometime too! Well forget that, I say. Do you know how many hours in the day we lose to the inside of our eyelids? Just think of all the ideas we could follow up on if we had an endless supply of coffee.

But for what it's worth, Da Vinci struggled with the same problem. And we can thank his over-abundance of inspiration for his greatest invention: the smile. :)

JC Lynne said...

Sleep is one of the places I receive my best ideas! Plus, I grow a little mean without sleep AND coffee.

Laura Mahal said...

This is great writing, J.C. It helps to laugh at the lifestyle so many of us have brought upon ourselves. Writers probably do put in more than a forty-hour week, as we are subconsciously working out plot points and character traits even when we are pulling weeds or carting kids to sports or trying to fall asleep. And the temptations never cease! Literary magazines invite us to submit, so we have to branch out to new genres. The library sends an email about the latest flash fiction contest. It's only a thousand words, so why not? "Sure, no problem, I can definitely proofread the first 25,000 words of your next novel," are the words that tumbled from my mouth a few days ago. I don't regret saying so, but it does mean something somewhere has to give. But not coffee. Definitely not coffee.

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