Creative Woes + An Announcement

I’ve been dreading writing this post and putting it off for the longest time. It seems like every time I take a break, it gets a little more difficult to return to the habit. Not for lack of ideas or interest, it’s mostly fear.

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I don’t know how many people can relate to this but hopefully my fellow writers know what I’m talking about. Every time I take an extended break from writing, be it blog posts or fiction, I find that I come back to it with a certain amount of terror and insecurity. I begin to worry if whatever I’ve put up or written previously is any good at all and if anybody will want to read what I’m going to be writing next. It’s all in my head, of course. This period of inactivity builds up unrealistic expectations and not being the most confident person in the world, I can’t easily dispel the fear that surges through me as I stare at the blinking cursor.

I had a hundred different post ideas before the hiatus. Promptly, majority of them vanished from my sieve of a memory, leaving behind the dregs, which were neither the brightest nor the easiest to execute. While I turned them over in my head as I searched for words to flesh those out, their worth decreased exponentially until I was convinced each and every one of them were rubbish.

After churning out 50,000 odd words in November for NaNoWriMo, a 500 something words blog post looks like a piece of cake, mathematically (I could do with a piece of cake right now). Realistically, the more minutes that pass by without a single word written, the more the nagging feeling grows into full blown panic, often with the result of logging out and promising oneself to try again later ‘when inspiration strikes’. However, sneaky little inspiration fails to arrive on time and my posting days fly by, sticking their tongues out at me cheekily.

So, I decided to write about this feeling rather than hunt around some more for glorious ideas that are being very elusive at the moment. An average writing day is mostly comprised of lonely, long hours interspersed with a few brilliant moments. It is for those few and far between moments that bring with them the immense joy and power of having created something from nothing that I choose to write. Not for the eyes of others who read and may appreciate the words written at those precise moments, not for the fame that might come along when those readers multiply and certainly not for the rest of the frustrating minutes that fill those hours. This is perhaps unreliable but also fulfilling in a way that, paradoxically, I can’t put in words. This is why I had the courage to keep writing through the mediocre sentences, through the paragraphs that probably don’t belong and the words with better replacements. In the end, it will never be a waste of time, but an experience worth reliving and learning from.


ANNOUNCEMENT: NEW BOOK BLOG!

From 2011, I’ve had multiple Tumblr accounts and unsuccessful blogs, which I neglected for I had no idea what topics to focus on. It’s a very diverse place with rules that are radically different compared to WordPress. Lately, I’ve been thinking that I want to separate the two aspects of Pages That Rustle that have co-existed so far – reading and writing. I decided to make this more writing-oriented. I want to complete all the little stories I started this year, so you’ll be seeing more fiction on Fridays. I’ll also be sharing updates on my new WIP that I started as a part of NaNoWriMo 2016. I’m accepting more guest posts, so if you’re interested, check out the new page that will be up soon for more details.

However, book reviews and related content will move to the new Tumblr blog, but I will probably be doing seasonal wrap-ups here as well. I’m not entirely sure at the moment, but I felt like I needed to talk about books a lot more than I’m doing currently and I didn’t want to create another blog, so I decided to change my existing Tumblr into a book blog.

If you’re on Tumblr too, this is the link to my blog – Unputdownable Books. Don’t be alarmed if you find it empty now for I’ve only just revamped it. At the moment, those of you who don’t have a Tumblr account can’t follow the blog, but I’ll try to add other ways to do so before long (if that’s possible) because I don’t want interested people to miss out on anything. If you’re an author about to publish a book and need a reviewer, do head over to the new blog for relevant details. I’d be thrilled to help out!

unputdownable-books

Before I make these changes permanent, I’d love your valuable opinion about this attempt. If you have any ideas or suggestions or just a bit of encouragement to offer, please let me know in the comments section below. I can’t thank you all enough for being such patient readers! πŸ™‚

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25 thoughts on “Creative Woes + An Announcement

  1. Writing about your block definitely helps. I usually take that as a writing prompt and start with “I have no idea what I’m doing…” and go from there. It usually turns into me rambling about everything that’s going on in my life, everything that’s on my mind. It helps and I think it makes a little more “room” in your mind to start being creative once again since you’ve gotten a few things off your chest to your paper.
    Also, I think starting the book blog is a wonderful idea. You should go for it and see where it takes you. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your support! It means the world to me! πŸ™‚
      That’s sort of what I did too. I just started writing something and this journal-style post was the result. So happy that I’m not the only one who feels like this at times. πŸ˜›

      Like

  2. This is exactly where I’m at right now. I took a break from my story after NaNo and I’m thinking I should start working on it before it sits there for so long that I forget where it was going and what I wanted to happen. But every time I even think about sitting down to write, I lump of dread balls in my stomach and I find something else to do. But, paradoxically, I miss writing and feel a bit empty without it. I guess I should just force myself to sit down and write whatever comes out even if it is horrible. πŸ˜€
    Your new book blog sounds exciting! I don’t have a Tumblr, though your new blog there is making me think about getting one. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess NaNo does that to us all! I have holidays now and I know I should be working on completing that NaNo project but I just disappear behind a book instead. Maybe we should give it a name. Post-NaNo writing slump?
      Thank you. πŸ™‚ I’d love it if you joined me on Tumblr! It’s a great place for GIFs, BTW. πŸ˜›

      Like

      • Post-NaNo writing slump is a perfect name for it. πŸ˜€ After all that writing all you want to do is enjoy the holidays and read a bunch of books. You know how I love those GIFs. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve been going through books like a person starved for decades compared to the actual three weeks or so. I think this will help in the long run. Reading amazing books definitely helps push one to write one of their own, even if it’s not as good as one’s favourite author’s.

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      • I totally agree. When I finish a good book, I think, “I want to write something like that.” Not that I think I’m as good as the author, but because it reminds me how important stories are to people and how wonderful a story can make people feel. It makes me hopeful that the story I’m writing can have a small impact on people, even if only for a moment. And that motivates me to write. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. First of all, wonderful job on this post, Nandini. We can never have too many blog posts about overcoming writer’s doubt / fears / uncertainty / insecurity, and I especially loved the honesty in yours. Don’t ever forget that last sentence you wrote (“In the end, it will never be a waste of time, but an experience worth reliving and learning from.”)

    Also, I know the feeling. (And I’d be shocked if any writers out there didn’t.) I’m TERRIFIED every time I start a new article for DIY MFA. I’m also a bit apprehensive about the novella I’m plotting / planning to start drafting soon. Each fear has its own root: the former, that I’m not smart enough to continue writing the theme column; and the latter, more or less the insecurity of starting over and the “plotting block” (instead of writing block) I ran into this past weekend. Though now that I see those fears written out, they’re not that much different, are they?

    I think fear and writing go hand in hand. We’re afraid of inadequacy, criticism, lack of originality / creativity, lack of ideas, etc. And by not writing, we give in to all of those fears. But there’s nothing wrong in writing about our fears or insecurities about writing. (Heck, that’s why I did my Chronicle on doubts over the summer.) It’s human. And sometimes by writing about those doubts, it helps us move forward and write about other things. It’s a catharsis of sorts.

    You’ll be fine, Nandini. As long as you keep writing, one way or another, through the smooth days and the rocky ones, you won’t lose touch with your craft.

    As for the separate book blog, I think you should go with whatever feels right for you. I don’t use Tumblr (there’s only so much time for all the social media out there…), but if you want to use it for your book blog, then go for it. And I look forward to whatever posts you share here in the future.

    On a somewhat related note, what kind of cake would you like? I’d be happy to give you a virtual slice. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sara. πŸ™‚ Your words are very encouraging, especially at a time when I’m not feeling all that creative at all. I’ve been receiving such wonderful comments from other writers and bloggers on how they sometimes feel the same way too and I’m quite certain that I’ll be fine soon because if you all can still produce such good content consistently despite having these fears, I can do it too. I’m trying to write something every day, especially after finishing Writing Down the Bones, no matter how good or bad my inner critic deems it and I’m feeling more confident now.
      Thanks for the advice as well. I feel like I’m at a place where I have enough time to manage both and I really do want to be more active in the book blogging community looking at all the other wonderful people already doing such good things. It is very heartening to hear from you that you’re looking forward to future posts. I’m quite excited to get started on those (as opposed to terrified a few days ago). πŸ˜€
      I’m very partial to chocolate, but I’ll have anything that’s not plum cake. I never really liked it for reasons unknown to me, but I don’t mean to undermine your traditions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ohhhh I’m glad you’re feeling more confident about your writing again! πŸ™‚ Just remember that you always have friends you can turn to when that happens again.

        As for the cake: Plum cake / pudding isn’t a holiday tradition in my family, so I’m not offended in the least. πŸ˜‰ In fact, my great-aunt made a belated birthday cake (chocolate w/ chocolate frosting) for my mom and her twin sister this past weekend. So if you’d like, here’s a virtual slice for you. (*slides a plate of chocolate cake to Nandini*)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Remember my blog post “On Not Writing” ?
    Most times, when I struggle with writer’s block I go back to it, read it and I feel refreshed. Writing about not being able to write and sometimes, just letting things ferment usually makes it better.

    I hope you get over the fear and write more. Inspiration doesn’t come everyday but we can always learn about writing on days when inspiration is scarce.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Goals for the New Year | Pages That Rustle

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