Saturday, February 26, 2011

The pressure to create

I've been thinking today about the pressure I'm putting on myself as I try to write my new novel. I don't like to say I have writer's block; I'm not sure I even believe in that term. I write every day, fiction and nonfiction, and for the most part the words come easily. But every time I start to think about my current WIP, something in me freezes, and I can't let myself go--my words and thoughts are tangled, and nothing I write seems, well, right. I don't feel the freedom that writing usually gives me; I don't feel like I can let my words just dance across the page. Instead, writing each sentence--each word--is agonizingly difficult. The pressure is on--and I'm the one causing it.

I wrote today, as I always write, but I wrote nothing on my novel, and each time I started to think about it, I would shove the thoughts away. I don't know why I'm doing this, why writing is suddenly tortuous rather than freeing. Maybe I'm just putting too much pressure on myself. Maybe it's not time for this WIP yet. Maybe I need to set it aside for a month or for six months. Maybe I need to allow some time to pass so that I can gain perspective on just what it is I'm trying to accomplish with this mother's story.

I'm frustrated. I have so much to say, but I can't find the words.

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