Aaron, this post is safe for you to read.
I’m stuck in my story, but I don’t necessarily have writer’s block. In fact, I’ve written nearly 1000 words in two different attempts. The problem I’m having is that I want a humorous story, and what I’m churning out is some sci-fi that is too silly to be actual sci-fi, and too serious to be a comedy story. So I’m still plodding along.
But it made me think about writer’s block. I used to pride myself in high school that when I had writer’s block is when I wrote the most. It was true. I had floppy disks (remember those?) full of writing that I wrote when I couldn’t think of anything. Of course, it was all drivel. But I was never a writer who fell back on the ole’ “I can’t think of anything to write” mantra when I was stuck. I wrote and wrote and wrote. It might have sucked, but at least I produced.
Now that my schedule has tightened, with a job that consumes my days, two kids, a wife, a house, and other projects (like being a competitive athlete in a professional sport), I don’t have time to write crap. I find myself only wanting to sit down when I have something GOOD to write. I know I *can* write for writing’s sake – that’s never been a problem. If I sit at my computer, I’ll have pages of writing after an hour, not just a sentence then blank space. But I have better uses for my time. Hell, reading a book ranks higher than churning out pages of poop.
Which is why I’m so frustrated with this month. I feel like I have good ideas, but the longer I write them, the less interested in them I am. That’s a sign that they’re not as good on paper as they are in my head. A good idea will remain a good idea the whole way through. I think I’ve had a dozen different ways to go in this story, and none are sticking. Maybe I need to scrap every idea and start over once again. I’m not sure.
With the timeline crunch, I do at least have the benefit of knowing that I could finish any of my false starts for a story. It may not be the best one I could possibly write, but it will at least be done, and decent. But I’m a perfectionist – I want excellence, not acceptability.
Curse you, Teddy Roosevelt. Curse you and your really cool hat.