Just this morning, Iain Broome wrote a blog post about having a busy couple of months that have simply kept him away from writing. While reading the post I had two thoughts — (1) why is this different from writer’s block, and (2) this sounds an awful lot like me. The more I thought about it, the more I realized this problem is distinctly different from suffering from writer’s block. Writer’s block usually means that you don’t have any ideas or you have ideas, but you can’t seem to articulate them correctly on the page. This, I believe, is a whole new problem that many of us experience as writers juggling other responsibilities. A writing “dry spell” simply means that other things are getting in the way of writing as much as you’d like to. Broome seems to perfectly put into words what I’ve been feeling lately.
My final semester of college was, obviously, pretty busy. I had schoolwork to contend with, I was working on the Jet Fuel Review, I took a conference trip to Ithaca, and then I found myself graduating. In between all of this, I definitely let my writing fall by the wayside. Now that it’s the summer holidays and I’ve had time to relax and take a step back from everything, I realize I haven’t gotten much writing done in the way of fiction or personal projects. After all, wasn’t I going to edit my NaNoWriMo novel and tack an ending onto it? That hasn’t been done. In his post, Broome mentions that even blogging has gotten in the way of his regular writing. I hadn’t thought of this because I’d been considering blog posts a form of writing, but the obligations I have here do get in the way of leisure writing.
When life takes a turn for the busier, creative pursuits are most easily pushed aside because they take time and concentration. But how hard is it to allocate several hours each week to simply read and write? Let’s stop making excuses and, instead, start making more art. This summer, though the weather may be hot and dry, say no to writing dry spells!
What are some real life distractions that cause dry spells in your own writing? How can you overcome them to be more creative and more productive in your personal writing endeavors?
— Jet Fuel Editor, Mary Egan