Wednesday, January 12

Overcoming the "Don't Wanna's"

Do you ever get these? The don't feel like working, don't feel like doing housework (okay, this is an everyday thing for me, but still), don't want to watch TV, don't want to swim in the pool, don't want to read (gasp! I know, me, not wanting to read? has there been a coup in Kristi's Reading World?), don't want to do anything blues?

When I started writing this post, I thought, well it's fear of the new wip - that's a valid fear in my opinion. A fear to be overcome, but a fear nonetheless. I just finished a maniacal week of revising and a final readthrough because I was getting a requested full (yay) in the mail. The full is mailed, I'm now in the waiting game... and I don't want to do anything.

So, is this the new wip blues? Not really. I like the new wip (there are 2 and I actually like them both very much). I'm not afraid, in fact all last week when I was revising and reading through, all I could think about was getting the old MS done, getting it out so I could get to work on the new stuff. Now that I have the time, I can't seem to make myself open the folder and start.

How can I overcome this weird sensation? First, I can feed my muse. Read, do other creative projects, watch a favorite movie, do an art project with the kiddo (her new favorite thing). Nora says you can't edit a blank page...but a page full of dreck can be fixed. This is true. But I've found after finished a big project, giving myself a day or two - no more, two max - to come down or replenish my soul works better for me.

Second, I just do it - and this is where I'm at right now. I'm just doing it, moving forward. I channel Nora and I write the darn pages and in a few more days (or a couple weeks) I'll go back and fix the badness so I start seeing the glimmer of good writing again. I have a deadline that I want to meet for the new WIP, so I have to write to get there. So far this week I've pushed in just over 4,000 words. Take that, Don't Wanna!
These times, the times when I don't want to write but I do? They are the times when I realize that even without a publishing contract (yet) I AM A WRITER. Even in my spots of tiredness when I'm coming down from an enormous high (you want to see more of my book? MY BOOK? You like me -- channeling Sally Field here) when I don't want to do anything but sit in a chair and stare at the walls, I'm still a writer.


Because I want to be. I work hard to be. Isn't that half the battle?


  1. 2 completely opposite comments: 1) when I finish a manuscript, I take at least a month off before diving in to something new - gives your brain a break and clears out all the old characters. Don't beat yourself up! 2)If you do want to press on, try joining the winter writing festival by the RubY Slippered Sisterhood. Great motiviation!

  2. Thanks for the info, Christi!

    The new wip has been percolating since about December 1 -- had the idea on our cruise! Usually I do take time between books, this time, the idea is just eating at me to write it down. Which is weird because then I sit down and nothing comes out. Oh, well!

  3. This sounds familiar. I have been in that don't wanna place sooo many times. Battling it right now. BTW congrats on the request. Fingers crossed for you.

  4. Writing when you don't wanna is so much the right thing to do, and I admire anyone who does.

    Good luck with your request!

  5. Thanks, Shawn and Liz! I'm excited about the request.

  6. Congrats on the request!
    I used to think I had to push through the don't wannas. But anymore, I think the opposite (to a point). I think we need to do what our bodies and brains need, and we should listen to them both.

  7. good point, D'Ann! I know you've been through the wringer health-wise over the last year. Taking care of ourselves *does* help!

  8. I totally get those days. No helpful advice, just paddling in the same boat.That's all I got.