I don’t know exactly why I stopped reading for pleasure, or when. But in 2016, I don’t think I’ve read more than 5 books, which is strange since a) there isn’t much I enjoy doing more than reading, and b) I’ve had a gap between my graduation and the start of my year as volunteer where I basically did nothing. I know this isn’t a big problem in itself since I’ve never been a very regular reader. But seeing the pile of books that I’d love to read grow and grow while not actually reading anything, well, I became frustrated with myself. Which made me not want to read which made me more frustrated, and so on and so on.
It’s like with my writing, actually. I just can’t seem to get it done regularly when there isn’t a schedule I could fit my writing time into. If there’s nothing but free time over free time over free time with a little bit of worrying about the future in my calendar, I just can’t seem to get my butt down and do the work I love doing. I don’t think I’ve written more than two or three short fanfics all damn summer of 2016.
But this post isn’t just a pile of whining, because since I’ve moved halfway across the country (which, admittedly, isn’t that far for American standards) and, well, got a life again, things have been getting better for me. I’ve already read two books and halfway-read two others this year, I’ve finished and posted a fanfic, and last week, I’ve started writing and doodling into a notebook that’s been gathering dust in my bookshelf.
I can’t really believe it myself, but it’s almost looking like my creative juices have started flowing again. I guess it’s true what they say (and with ‘they’, I mean Pablo Picasso):
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”
Because for the last few months, I’ve felt like I won’t ever get new ideas for my original fiction no matter how hard I tried. Simply enough, though, the problem was that I didn’t try. I hadn’t miraculously run out of ideas for this life, I just didn’t start working.
Now that things are looking up again, I just have to manage that I won’t get sucked back into the safe but boring space of Not Creating. It’s a lifestyle I’ve tried long enough, and let me tell you, it’s just not for me. Let’s hope when Summer-Kerstin comes home from work, exhausted and sunburned, and still needs to finish that really cool book or hit her word count for the day or write that blog post before she forgets or whatever else – let’s hope that she remembers this and just gets it done. I guess I don’t have a choice but believe in her.
Now it’s your turn: Have you ever been blocked for as long as me? What did you do to get out of it? Do you struggle with normal writer’s block sometimes? Any book recommendations for March? Let’s chat!