Fear in Writing: Dry like the Desert

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dry like the Desert

I haven't written in two weeks.

A post here and there, but even those have been uninspired.

I am reading Bangkok Haunts because the hardcore, bullet-like prose appeals to me right now.  Anything real I can grab on to.  It has to be harsh to penetrate my brain these days.

At night I long for the cruel drama of Criminal Minds and CSI.  No more patriotism and international cooperation for me.  Give me murderdeathkill.

From the ethereal prose of Tana French to the in-your-face words of John Burdett, from the joy and hope of the Olympics to the street-level dirt of crime dramas...life has drained me.

I know I'll come back, but do you ever feel this empty?  I am not asking from a need-sympathy standpoint.  I feel almost objective about the whole thing--numb, I suppose.  She's crashing, she's not crashing, Fibro, economy, school decisions, this, that, the other--

I know where the breaking point comes for many antagonists.  Maybe I could write the ultimate antagonist right now, really get inside his/her head. 

My mind is surely a wet, slippery place of oozing contradictions.  Then why do I feel so dry?

Bookmark and Share


  1. Michele - yes, yes I do! The well needs to be topped up sometimes and soothing oneself with faux death can be just the thing (not my thing - my thing is the faux politics of WestWing - witty repartee and nuanced governing- if only). Instead of thinking of this as a time of not writing - think of it as a different aspect of writing - a farmer who lets a field go fallow is still farming and he is farming intelligently. Enough. You're good. I'm good. It's snowing here again but we're still good.

  2. Maybe change is needed. To some extent, it does sound like you're reading and watching a wee bit out of your usual bailiwick.

    When I get bored or find I'm in a slump, I read or watch soemthing different from my usual fare - in my case either nonfiction/news or something humourous. I find doing this "wakes up" a different part of my brain.


  3. Jan- Perfect. Thank you.

    Jill- For me, the Olympics and anything NOT murder was out of my norm. This is a bit back to normal, with apathy thrown in. However, I think you're right about change. It can be an impetous.

  4. I think 7 or 8 days out of 10 I'm probably completely uninspired. I wish the deadline could stop and let me refresh, but it doesn't, so I just push on. I usually will pick up a different spot in my manuscript that I can write with more enthusiasm. Bleh. It's not fun, though.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  5. No worries. I take breaks from writing too. It happens to the best of us. Take some time off and do something crazy. Just don't get caught.

    And stop by as I have an award for you.

    Stephen Tremp

  6. Don't look at it as being dry. Think of it has emptying your mind, getting ready for all the wonderful inspiring ideas that will soon be flowing and just needed room to roam around.

  7. Mason's comment is great! All of us have those times. It's kind of like we push, work, strive – and then we just need to replenish and refresh.

    I know I've been "there" and didn't think I was ever going to get out of it … but I do. We all do. The problem is it usually doesn't happen as fast as we'd like.

  8. It is totally normal - we've all been there. Give yourself permission to take a break for a while. You'll wake up one morning thirsty for your writing! :-)

  9. Maybe this was a much-needed break for you. I'm contemplating what I will write next and have no idea at the moment. But for both of us, it will be all right.

  10. After writing so many guest posts for my upcoming VT, I'm ready for a dry spell!

    It'll come back, Michele. The more you stress, the harder you make it on yourself. Just relax.

  11. Elizabeth- Hard to imagine you as uninspired, but thank you for the encouragement!

    Stephen- I was there and retweeted earlier today, but couldn't find the "comment" button...I'll come back by! Thank you!

    Mason- That is WONDERFUL! I think I will post your advice for others to read.

    Crystal- It is exactly that: the lack of control. You nailed it.

    Shannon- Thank you. This much drought must lead to thirst!

    Alex- True, true. But I must point out that you have a book soon to be published...I'm just saying. :P

    Diane- I bet you are! You're all over the place! Thank you.

  12. RIght now, I'm going through the same thing. I'm debating my WIP because of it. I hope your spell ends soon and so does mine.


  13. I'll just chime in with everyone else and say I hope it's normal because I often feel the same! I think it's a good thing creatively: we're so busy we need to stop every once and a while and reflect, absorb, replenish. You're bleh now, but you'll come out stronger and more enthusiastic on the other side. My husband, the artist, goes through it too. You can't feel the phenomenonal highs of inspiration without enduring the lows. Many great artists created some of their most memorable works after a fallow period. Sometimes you need a kickstart though--I recommend dark chocolate. I remember you're not fond of sweets, but think of it as medicine. Take three squares and call me in the morning :)

  14. Every drougt ends with a purifying downpour. Don't worry...the rain will come.