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That Time of Year Again...Maybe?

As some of you know, I'm having a hard time getting back into the groove of writing. The issues I've been having with my MS have really knocked me down, and the getting back up has been surprisingly difficult. Even now, after sorting it all out in a way I'm happy with, I'm struggling to get motivated.

Thinking on this, I recalled a few weeks last year where I had a really hard time with my writing. I was so unmotivated and frustrated that I was pretty much ready to give up. Turns out, that happened in late July, early August.


It has me wondering if there's just something about this time of year for me. Luckily, it only lasted a few weeks last time and I was pounding out words again. Let's hope that's the case this time as well. I'm miserable!

How often do you get into a writing funk? Is there a time of year that seems to affect your writing? How do you deal? Do you push through or wait until motivation and inspiration strike again?


Heather Kelly said...

I have been thinking about cycles of writing, and trying to understand my own creativity swings. I think we could probably take a graduate course and still not understand all the factors that go into it.

I do find that I feed off the energy of the seasons changing. Especially summer into fall. It's why I live in New England.

I find the whole summer to be a challenge since our family routines are different, and disrupted by vacations. Is there anything specific you can pinpoint about these months that might give you a block?

Jennifer said...

I always seem to hit a funk between June and September. It's hot, I'm busy goofing off and enjoying my vacation, and it's easy to lay back and forget everything.

I really hit my groove around October tenth or so. I'm definitely a fan of fall and winter, and the words flow easier for me during those seasons. It's just when I'm most comfortable.

storyqueen said...

August sucks.

At least for me......(February, too.)


P.S. Start something new!! Something completely different that is just for you, just for fun. Allow yourself the freedom to just create. You might find, as I do, that when I allow this type of freedom, I seem to unstick myself.

Merc said...

I'm not sure I have specific months/times I get into a funk... winter in general probably doesn't count. ;)

December generally sucks for burnout from NaNo, holiday stress, and work-related chaos. Not sure that counts either. O:)

If you're in a funk, maybe just try relaxing and doing something else for a bit, or start something new and simply for fun?


K. M. Walton said...

Writing is hard. Period. Even if you love it. It's still hard. Don't get down on yourself for being in a slump. Every writer I know goes through it. It'll come back like gangbusters when its ready.

I've never tracked my slumps, but I certainly do have them. Unless I'm working on a WIP that I love - then it flies out of me like wild bats.

Maybe...you need a new project? I don't know.

Lisa Nowak said...

I get in a funk in August, not about writing, but about landscaping because I'm getting burned out with having done it since spring. My writing slump comes in March, and for the same reason. I'll have been writing as a full-time job since Thanksgiving and I need a break.

There's a cycle of creativity, and it includes rest as well as inspiration and hard work. We tend to over-value the hard work angle here in America. But without the rest, the inspiration doesn't come, and the cycle can't complete itself. Give yourself a break. Go do something completely unrelated to writing for a few weeks. Something physical would be ideal.

Andrea Brokaw said...

Every summer, I crash. Not just in writing, in everything.

Hiding inside from the heat and all that sunlight (I have PMLE, the sun isn't my friend) just leaves me miserable. I wish I could ignore the world and just write, but my creativity wilts. :(

Casey Something said...

Heather, I definitely seem to feed of the colder months, especially those with rain (not so common here)!

It's really interesting. I have been getting out a lot more, summer and all, so maybe it's a focus issue. As for specific events, not really! July and Sept are both busy for me, so August is sort of a lay-low month, but hey, maybe that's why I crash.

Jenna, I haven't seen you comment for awhile. Hope your writing is going well. It certainly is good to enjoy the summer break and all of its loveliness. Sounds like we might hit our stride at the same time. I'm hoping for a great fall/winter as far as writing goals go.

Shelley, you're probably right. I should try something new (again). I do happen to have a fresh, exciting idea that needs exploring. I jotted it down in my car somewhere. Ha!

Hi Merc! I really burned out in December last year from NaNo as well. I suppose I can count on that happening again. Something new and fun does sound nice!

Thanks K.M. Writing IS hard! I know these funks are bound to happen. I've had my share. I just wish I was making progress on my goals. It can be rather frustrating.

Lisa! You know, I was thinking about you earlier today. I was going to e-mail you! When does your writing season start again? November? I'll see about finding something else to focus on. I'm not a very physical person, but I'm sure my body would appreciate some effort in that area.

That must be frustrating, Andrea. It sounds like summer gives you the time to write (being inside) but you crash without that outside inspiration and variety in your day. Definitely a bummer. Here's to the upcoming change of seasons!

PJ Hoover said...

I think there is definitely a good theory about the time of year thing. So many things externally go on which can interfere with the writing. And speaking of which, I must write tonight!
hope you get back in the groove.

Casey Something said...

Thanks, PJ! There certainly are a lot of things that can interfere. Have a great time writing tonight!

MG Higgins said...

My funk time of year is in spring--April and May. I don't have a clue why. I tend to get depressed, my creatives juices slow down and things just generally go foof. Seems like spring should have just the opposite effect. I've always found it very strange.

Interesting post!

Deb Markanton said...

Since everyone has given you such lovely pep talks, I'll go another route.
No way, no how are you going to unseat ME as the writer-in-a-funk! LOL!
It's all about the flow of energy, but you'd expect me to say that right?
ps - I'm working on it!

Ann Finkelstein said...

I've been in a writing funk too, but I don't think mine is seasonal. Probably it's due to other aspects of life. Last night I met with some of my critique group and we did writing exercises not related to our WIPs. Today I feel energized. I haven't figured out the solutions to my manuscript's problems, but I was reminded that I can write.

Anne M Leone said...

Lots of good advice! Really appreciated your post Casey, as I've been in a bit of a funk myself lately, too. I think I need to start something new. But what???

My worst time of year is Feb-April. I always get sick and lose all energy and then get depressed because my writing is so bad.

Keri Mikulski said...

About four months ago, I hit my first writing funk. It had nothing to do with writing, but issues I was dealing with personally that were weighing me down so heavily that I couldn't get out from underneath the misery.

I gave myself a break and luckily, it lifted and I found my passion again. :)

If I'm frustrated with a ms, I usually push through.. :)

Great post. :)

Casey Something said...

That's really interesting, MG! See, I was wondering if anyone else had had this happen enough that they actually knew their bad months. I'll definitely be paying attention next year to see if this is just happenstance or really a time of year thing. I don't doubt that our creativity works in cycles, but I wish I could be super creative and motivated all year. (Don't we all?)

Deb, I don't think you're in a funk! I think you just need to start that book of yours (without stressing about the plot) and let yourself go with it. Let writing become your heart and soul for awhile.

That's awesome, Ann! Maybe writing something new or doing some exercises is just what I need. Who knows. After commiserating and talking with all of you, I'm already feeling better.

*hugs writer friends*

Anne, isn't good to know others go through this? It's one of those things. You KNOW everyone goes through it, but sometimes you just need the reminder and support that they really do.

No ideas swimming around your head? When I'm idealess, I like to click around on Wikipedia and read random things. I almost always get an idea! I hope you can get out of your funk soon, too!

I'm sorry you had such a rough time, Keri. When other things are going on in our lives, especially miserable things, it really can affect that creativity and drive. So glad you've found your passion again. It's always a bit scary, isn't it? When you're a creative person, you have to live with the fact that creativity sort of comes and goes.

It's an interesting career we're all in or heading for. We certainly love it though--it shows!