Recently, I have not been writing as much as I would like to. The easy explanation for this would be to chalk it up to too much work, too little sunlight, a few too many aches and pains, and not quite enough inspiration. However, the easy route is not always the best one, and this happens to be the situation right now. I am actually hung up because of a different beast this time, and as a writer, it is always better to understand what moves us than just assume something and go from there. This is also true when we don't move at all.
In my case, all of the reasons I discussed - work, bad weather, etc. - were true. However, when I sat and thought about it for a bit, none of those were holding me back from writing. Each one of them was easy enough to overcome, but there was something else I was not facing. Something that made me want to turn away from the keyboard and go to whatever other diversion was available. When we are in a rut, we need to ask ourselves, "What is really going on?" This should not be an easy question to answer, and we should challenge what we just want to jump out and say. Usually, the deeper truth does not want to come out. We need to poke it, prod it, or lure it out with treats. (I use the same process when my cats hide under the bed)
What's been bothering me of late, and what I have discovered from creeping around a lot of author chat boards, is that every writer needs feedback, and without it, that creative drive can become malnourished. As solitary as the writing process is, it often comes from both a need to create and a need to be heard. Sometimes one need dominates the other and we can just go with that for a while. When an idea is brewing in my mind, writing it down is almost instinctive, but often that other need comes up and we want to have our story heard. We need feedback; we need response and something to feed that other part. When we are driven to write by that need, the loneliness of writing can very much work against us. And, considering this wintry world of isolation, that need can often go unsatisfied.
If you find yourself bogged down and unable to write, give yourself a moment. Ask yourself what is going on, and feel around for an answer. There are plenty of them out there and they are all perfectly natural. However, remember that writing is very much a social process at times, and we often need to do more than just create on our own. And, if your answer turns out to be a need to be heard, well, seek one of those chat groups and get some feedback. It can actually be quite satisfying.
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