The writer’s process. There’s a certain point when a writer should keep a journal of their experiences, and like so many other things in this world, you’ll just know when that is. You’ll just know. Cheap fucking dodge.
But in this journal you’ll write down your reflections on what you’re writing, your doubts about the plot, how the characters have surprised you, what else was going on in the world that got in the way of writing or augmented it. Then after a year, you find yourself bored and seeking inspiration, and you leaf through past entries in your journal, and if you were honest you won’t hate yourself. If you write like you’re on a grand adventure and trying to impress someone, you’ll probably burn the journal up, as it deserves. But if you’re candid and searching and artless, then you’ll find something useful in there. You’ll even appreciate how far you’ve come. You might be charmed with where you were, you might even long for that stage again.
I don’t have one of those journals. I was required to keep one for a writing class, and I wrote the whole thing out the night before I was supposed to turn it in. Used different pens, handwriting, emotional states and everything. Didn’t hurt my GPA any. But I wish I’d taken it seriously and met the exercise halfway, because now I’m not in the habit. That’s what I’m doing right now, though. I’m not writing any stories, so I may as well write up a journal entry, neh?
I haven’t been able to write freely for about four months, maybe longer. I lost track. I have several theories as to why this is, but I’m not going to blame any single one of these factors. One is that I broke myself after that Patreon rush, writing 5K-word commissions on topics tangentially related to my interests and sometimes in violation of them. For money. Both of those are factors, putting so much cognition into something incompatible with me, and doing so for money. It was good money, though, and it let me commission a custom video and some artwork, and supporting the scene is never a bad thing. Or is it.
I don’t belong to any orthodox religion as I believe they’re all hypocritical and inhuman, but I am very spiritual. I do believe in extraplanar entities, alien intelligence we lack the faculty to perceive and comprehend, all sorts of indefinite things that the jury’s still out on. I’ve had a few supernatural incidents in my life, including a very alarming one in Thailand during a time I was susceptible to that. So I wonder if something has attached itself to me. There’s a theory that, much like how we once had dozens of symbiotic organisms living within us, we also have several extraplanar entities connected with us at any given moment. Some are benign or neutral, others are inimical to our organism. I feel like I’ve got one latched onto me that’s… if not draining my creativity, then blocking the flow of it to communication. I still have creative thoughts and I fill notebooks with story ideas, but when I sit down to start writing, I become tired, and the angry kind of tired like a toddler who’s stayed up too late. I hate the story before I’ve even written anything, and this is directly opposed to the real joy I used to experience, fingers flying over 90 wpm, transcribing my lurid visions into online copy within an hour or two. Fuck, I did that story-a-day challenge for three months! That was free of cost, that was out of the sheer love of writing, no motive greater than wanting to bulk up my blog and turn it into a website people would actually want to go to.
Now my readership numbers are dropping, visits going down from 300 people in the US and Europe wanting to read a post to 20 people around the world finding me by accident. SizeCon was two months ago: that’s less than ten months left to outline, draft, edit, revise, format, and submit a new book for publication. Time is moving so swiftly now. I complained about how quickly August was gone, and now September’s almost done. What the fuck.
I don’t know how to get my mojo back, whatever you want to call it. I tried the rituals: I used to set a place to invite my muse (go look up muse/genius/daemon sometime, speaking of extraplanar entities). My Vonnegut votive, some screwy cocktail I threw together, the glitch-electronica of one of my favorite artists (to whose music I used to torture myself with writing, for the sake of tearing the veil between this mundane world and the realm of giantesses), closed blinds, one floor lamp, everything all coziness and sybaritic delight…
And it fell flat. I have no rituals, or the rituals mean nothing. The gods are dead in my sky, the giantesses have fled. They’re there, they want nothing to do with me.
Maybe I have to commit to taking a break and going away, instead of lingering around and abusing myself with disappointment when I can’t pull off this one miracle. Give up the expectations of producing any stories, walk away from the chore of extending my series. Writers are supposed to be readers, and I haven’t read anything in a long time. I charged up my Nook and started reading other size writers’ works, but my teeth ache with needing to edit them. No, what I have to do is tackle the TBR stack by my bed, immerse myself in other worlds, stuff that interests me and stuff that’s good for me but doesn’t speak to my heart. Maybe I’ll even try to live up to my Goodreads goal for reading for 2018, though time is decidedly running out.