Writer’s Block? No – Writer’s Breakdown

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I’ve been writing since before I could read. Given that everything I wrote before learning to read efficiently was garbage… Writing is still something I’ve done for most of my life.

It was my main outlet in life since I was never afraid to be myself on paper. While, in real life, I was regularly mute and lonely, but on paper, I was confident and funny.

It hasn’t really changed; I am still lonely and go mute occasionally. But I have some confidence now, at least. And my humour is at least ten-fold better, even if calling a prospective partner old so that I can tell a fossil joke is a terrible thing to do. [Don’t worry, it landed.]

In 2020, while the world was burning, and world war three was becoming a possibility, and everyone was either saying COVID was just the flu or dying from it, I took some time away from writing.

Nobody told me how difficult it would be to get back to.

As I’m writing this, I know I’m procrastinating writing. And, I know that sounds weird, but hear me out! I have a deadline to meet for a new book I should’ve started writing over six months ago

I was given nearly seven months to write a book, and the deadline is in two weeks. And, of course, like the fool I am… I started it on January 1st.

Now, I need to explain that I don’t have Writer’s Block. Or, at least, not in the traditional sense of being unable to put words down. That, that I can do. Easily. Maybe too easily; it’s almost worrying.

But when you’re writing, and you get into a flow, eventually you have to look back at what you’ve written. And to say I had a breakdown on Sunday night would be an understatement.

I started writing the book at the beginning of the month, and then took two weeks off…

But when I came back to it, it all felt wrong. Every part of it. The plot, the way I was writing it, even the tense… All of it was wrong. 

Not a single bit of it was right. 

And I cried, and I mean it, like… not a few tears but full-blown sobs. I felt like I was going through a breakup with my only talent… And even that feels like a stretch! Is it a talent, or did I get lucky? Who knows? Not fucking me.

It was horrible, and it still feels like it. But, at 3 AM, after said breakdown, I decided to re-write the 12,000 words I’d written of a book I need to hand in by February 10th. 

And, honestly, I think it might be a bit better. The characters are the same, but I’ve changed the plot. And, I like it. 

Is it a romance novel riddled with clichés? Yes. But who doesn’t love a good cliché?

I’ve not caught up yet; I’ve only written around 5,000 words of the 12,000 I had. However, I suspect that by the end of this week, I should’ve doubled what I’d written the first time around. That’s my prediction – I will hold myself to this by writing a follow-up and telling you if I did or not… Fingers crossed.

Nobody prepared me for how hard it was going to be to start writing again after two years; they certainly didn’t prepare me for how fucking horrible writing in third person was going to be. I’m not sure how I used to do it, but romance in third person? That is a solid no from me.

I’m looking at the stack of my old paperbacks, knowing that all but one were written in third person. And I’m not sure if that means they’re all terrible, or if I’ve just lost my ability to write in third person.

No matter – I doubt I’ll be doing it again. At least, not anytime soon.

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