When an Outlet Isn’t Enough

I write for a number of reasons. I write because I love it. I write because the ideas never stop coming. I write because the characters need their stories told. I also write to escape. I write to process my world. I write as an outlet.

Today, though, was almost a day off from writing all together.

Had a bit of a wake up call happen last night–nothing bad, but it could have been a lot worse, and it made me think and made me take a look at a few things. It also left me feeling rather guilty because while nothing bad did happen, it could have, and it would have been my fault.

When I got home, I was wound up and usually I unwind by writing before bed. I didn’t. Couldn’t.

The underlying issues I was avoiding couldn’t be ignored for fic. They spilled out onto the fic, giving it a bad light. I was convinced that I’d lost touch with all my current stories: The Monster in My Garden Shed, The Not-So-Super Superhero, The Memory Collector, and the sequel to Nickel and Dime. I didn’t know where to take the first two, I thought I’d screwed up the third, and the fourth was going over the same thing over and over again with Effie and Garan’s current problems.

I couldn’t even bring myself to type on my older projects¬† because all my writing seemed… bad. Not worth fixing or working on bad.

This is the state I get in where I know things are really bad. If I can’t write, then I’m in a place that worries me.

I told myself it was just the day. I’d take today off from writing and things would look better in the morning. Morning came, and I was not over it. I still thought they were all horribly flawed and not worth fixing, even if I knew where to go with them.

Distracting myself with the games on my phone wasn’t working, though they are very addicting little apps. Talking it out was somewhat helpful, though since it had to be done by chat, it caused some confusion and frustration, too.

It was getting later and later, and it looked like there would be no writing done today at all. I did some minor edits to the second Nickel and Dime–which, by the way, continues to vex me with its refusal to get named–and I had a strange idea for how to go on with it, so I opened up the file and started working on it.

Of course, that was about when it became time to get dinner and go out for the evening, so the scene wasn’t done when I left. Out and about, I used the phone to start today’s Not-So-Super post.

Writing today was more of a battle than an outlet, but I do think that I am better for it, not just in the sense of settling some of my issues in real life but also for taking that look at the stories and acknowledging what might need to change and figuring out where to take them and knowing that they are still worth it, even if they need a bit of work.

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