The Rip

As a writer, you are essentially your own boss.  One of the luxuries of this arrangement is the ability to set one’s own hours.  Thus, after some consideration, I’ve decided to give myself a few days off from writing for the holiday.

It was not an easy decision to make, given my difficulty making progress on Pathfinder of late.  However, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized that a few days off writing might help.

At this point, I’ve been forced to admit that I’m suffering from a case of writer’s block.  It’s never an easy thing to admit, but as I’ve managed all of two pages of Pathfinder in nearly a month, it’s inescapable.

As such I’ve found myself growing increasingly discouraged.  After all, Pathfinder represents the first installment of my most treasured story concept.  However, a closer look at my writing over the past few weeks has helped me out of my gloom.

I’ve never really liked the term “writer’s block”.  To me, it suggests a sort of immovable barrier, as though a wall stands in one’s way; a passive obstacle.  Rather, I prefer to think of writer’s block as a rip current; a powerful and opposite force, dynamic in its intensity, pushing back.

As any expert will say, a rip is not inescapable.  One can simply wait for it to run its course, or exhaust oneself trying to fight against it, but the only way to truly escape is to swim not with or against it, but parallel.

Every writer has their tricks for conquering writer’s block, but often my approach is not to attempt to “conquer” it at all.  Rather, I switch tracks, allowing myself to follow different creative avenues.  Often, I’ve found writer’s block occurs when I grow tired or bored of a story.  This certainly seems to be the case lately; over the past few weeks of struggling with Pathfinder, I’ve actually done quite a bit of writing, just on different subjects.

Looking at my recent work objectively, I dare say I haven’t produced this quality of work since the middle chapters of Wide Horizon.  If my craft isn’t the problem, perhaps the direction is.

Thus, while I’m not planning to abandon Pathfinder any time soon, I do plan to take the next few days to reflect.  Upon resuming work on Friday, I may allow myself some time working on other projects, focusing on my more recent ideas. Perhaps that will help me to center myself, and push on with Pathfinder.

Until then, happy Thanksgiving, dreamers.

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