October’s Creative Drought


It’s been deathly quiet around here lately, and I figured it’s time I put up a post explaining why.

In short, I’ve been in a creative drought. I was overly critical of everything I managed to write, and I struggled to make any measurable progress on my second novel. On top of that, I couldn’t find anything I thought worth posting here on my blog. Everything seemed weak and I didn’t want to post garbage content just for the sake of it. I also started avoiding social media because it’s so utterly saturated with the shitshow that is this year’s US election. I can only take so much Trump-this and Hillary-that before wanting to blow my brains out.

Oh and to cap it off, I caught flu and was sick for a solid week.

The end result of this jigsaw of misery was that I fell off the map for most of October.

stephen_king_on_writingOne upside of the slump was that I found time to catch up on some reading. I finally picked up Stephen King’s On Writing, which I burned through in record time. Full of engrossing stories and useful knowledge, I would recommend it to any writer at any stage of their career. Having never read any of King’s work before, I can now understand why the guy sells so many millions of books. At some point, I’ll try to post a review/run down of my personal highlights.

Anyway, I’m on the upswing now and starting to not hate writing again. I even managed to plan out the scenes of the final book in my trilogy in just a handful of days. I’ll be writing the first draft next month, which coincidentally happens to be National Novel Writing Month. I have no plans to take part this year though, not after my experience last year when I was barraged with shameless advertising, and found the forums to be steeped in so much fabricated enthusiasm and political correctness that it made me want to vomit.

Knowing how much editing lies ahead of me, and how it dragged during my first novel, I came up with an idea to help me keep focused this time around. Writing a novel is a huge project that can take many months, and progress can be hard to measure when you’re dealing with such a lumbering behemoth. As a result it can be demoralising to pack up after a full day’s work and realise it was all just a drop in the ocean. So I’ve been toying with the idea of setting myself a weekly (possible fortnightly) schedule to write a short story. Holding a finished piece of work every now and then could be just the thing to keep my momentum during the bleak, lonely winters of editing through an entire novel.

If I do find time to give it a try, and any of the stories end up being decent, I’ll post them here on the free writing section of my site which is already loaded with my older work if you want to check it out.

Happy Halloween, I hope your own writing travels are going well. Enjoy your pumpkin carving, horror films, and tooth decay.

Jack-o-lantern photo by Troy Pickard licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
On Writing cover photo © Stephen King, used for identification purposes only.

4 thoughts on “October’s Creative Drought”

  1. The flu probably amplified your troubles by 10, but I’m glad to see you’re back into things and out of the rut. You managed to read the essential writer’s guide, too! That’s progress, at least. I have yet to pick up ‘On Writing,’ but I do intend to. People talk about it like it’s a writer’s cookbook from heaven, so I certainly will. Welcome back!

    1. Thanks, it’s nice to be writing again, and that’s probably very true about flu.

      I meant to read On Writing for years, and I’m kicking myself for not getting around to it until recently. People do hype it up, but I can see why now. It has an honest sort of magic that inspires and reminds you why you love writing, the perfect book if you’re in a slump really. I can’t recommend it enough.

    1. Thanks, it’s nice to be back writing and reading blogs again. I didn’t realise quite how much I’d come to enjoy it until I stopped.

      Glad to see you’re still working on Wolfie, I’m looking forward to reading the finished product.

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