Curses upon ye, writer's block!
This is the problem with a long hiatus from creative writing. I feel like I've forgotten how to write anything fun. Give me a work report or some painful professional navel-gazing and I'm your girl. I can analyze my teaching six ways to Sunday and throw in the words "intentional" and "differentiated" every other sentence.
But writing a scene full of witty banter? Re-plotting my novel to fix the dragging middle? Suddenly, I'm paralyzed. I'm worried that I won't do it well, or that I won't be able to sustain any sort of creative effort. I tell myself that I'm too busy or too exhausted. If I'm going to fail anyway, I might as well go clean the kitchen or write some curriculum because that's what's really important... and that's the only place I can actually succeed.
Obviously this is not a healthy attitude. I've had writer's block before, and I've tried a number of methods to deal with it. Though I've always managed to get back to work, I haven't sustained a healthy routine. These methods have always been about perpetuating self-loathing (as opposed to self-care). For instance, I tell myself I'll sit at the computer for an hour. And when I do, I'm humming "you can't do this" in my head. Yes, there's a winning mental refrain! Alternatively, I tell myself "the creative well has run temporarily dry. You need to abandon your project entirely." Then I set aside my writing routines so that I can eat fried food, read other people's romance novels, and worry that I'll never finish my own.
Shockingly enough, neither of those strategies really works.
I knew I was in deep trouble when it took me all week to write this post. (Yes, I actually started on Monday and now it's Saturday... sad, huh?) I think it's time to dust off my copy of The Artist's Way and put myself through a 12-week writers' recovery program.
Anyone else have any other ideas? Do share: how do you bust your block?