Monday, December 04, 2006

Writer's Gridlock?

Lately, I've been having trouble writing. However, it's not because I can't think of anything to write, but rather because I've got too much to write.

I do always have the off-and-on problem of starting stories and then never finishing them because they end up falling short of my own expectations, at which point I have the unfortunate tendency to just abandon them forever. Lately, though, I'm stopping stories with the intent of coming back to them, while in the meantime trying to put work into numerous other stories that are either on my list or on my agenda or otherwise just floating through my head.

At present, I've got:
  • a novel that I am finalizing

  • a novel that I am just beginning

  • three other semi-solid ideas for novels I eventually plan to write

  • two short stories that require key revisions

  • three short stories that I am currently writing

  • one (very fun!) cooperative writing project

In the midst of all this, I should point out, I've randomly churned out a handful of other short stories that just seemed to appear from the ether, fly off my fingertips, and end up on the page. I don't quite know how that happened. I wish I could capture the essence of that, though, and channel it towards some of these other items on my list.

Frustration comes when my brain just can't seem to focus on whichever of the above I sit down to work on. I've wasted entire evenings getting almost nothing done on whatever it was I planned to write for, and in the meantime, instead of switching to something else that might better suit my mood, I just kind of stare at blank pages or churn out very kludgy prose that I tend to just cut away later on. I get the impression that this is a problem I need to overcome if I ever want to be the sort of good writer that I someday hope to become.

I did just start a new story today that (at least for the time being) has got my excited and interested. Time will tell if that holds up. (I hope it does, though, because I plan on trying to meet a submission deadline with it.)