I learned this week that there are different levels to the dreaded Writer’s Block.
Somehow or another, after a solid six months of writing non-stop, I finally hit my burn-out stage this weekend. No, really, when I say non-stop, I mean it. I’m either asleep, at work, or writing since last September. Sometimes I’m all three at once, which is disturbing, but cellphone notepad apps are really useful and portable. This time, though, even the coffee has failed me. I have been working on this project for half a year. I’m at the end of it now and the home-stretch is in sight and… every idea I had for it just flew out the window. I’ve been working at it all weekend anyway, mostly doing editing. I want to write, but the ideas just aren’t there and I end up with disjointed words on the page. I can’t walk away from the project when it could be literally one scene away from being complete.
There’s just that one, tiny, miniscule little detail: I can’t figure out what comes next.
My usual response to this is to put the project down and go do something completely unrelated to writing. Clear the mind. Pull in some new creative inspiration. Catch up on some TV. But this is the last section of the project. I want it done. I want the little bird to fly and leave the nest. I’m impatient to move on to the next big idea. Self-imposed pressure to finish the project is conflicting with the ideas for the new project. But it’s like in gaming and I can’t level up to the next idea until I beat this boss-fight.
Multitasking on projects is a very important skill, the ability to be flexible and to “diversify” the project load and everything. This would be the exact scenario to illustrate that argument. It is obviously a skill I have yet to learn and will continue to work on. So I’m just going to keep throwing words at the page until something sticks.