In the Doldrums

I have been having a long bout of ….not exactly writer’s block, but what I can best term, the Doldrums.

Like the real life nautical companion, my doldrums simply are a time when I am adrift. No wind in my sails. Unable to get anywhere. A complete lack of momentum and forward movement.

I’m not stuck on a sandbar, nor completely immobilized, but I can’t seem to get up the gumption to get anything done, or even started, for that matter.

Though it pains me to say so – and I do believe it is fundamentally not-true – I feel like I am losing my passion for working on my book. These days, unfortunately, I am just simply not interested.

This is all most unfortunate, of course. Not only because I would like to just get it DONE already, but also because I am actually somewhat close (relatively speaking) to getting it finished.

It’s like Columbus getting stuck at Cuba – he can see Florida, he wants to get to Florida – but the winds are calm and his sails are furled – and he just can’t get there.

So, when all else fails, I turn to reading writing books. Nothing makes you feel more like a writer, without having to do anything, than reading about writing – but of course, doing no writing, yourself.

I dipped into a nice little work yesterday called: The Writer’s Portable Therapist: 25 Sessions to a Creativity Cure by Rachel Ballon. I don’t really feel like I need a “creativity cure” as much as just a literal “jump-start.” My batteries are just worn down. (sorry to mix metaphors)

I like this quote that appears there (p. 78): “The creative act – the defeat of habit by originality – overcomes everything” by George Lois.  That is exactly what I need.  My habit lately is to simply not-write. To in fact ignore it. SO – my mission is to “overcome habit by originality” – to go to the computer and open my manuscript and begin. To not fall back on the same habit of watching TV or pretending to clean house as a procrastination, writing-avoidance technique.

Just like the weeks old sailing vessels would spend at sea, nearly immobilized by the doldrums, I too know that my luck will eventually change. “Smooth sailing” will return – I just must simply be patient until it does.

© writingreading 2010

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