A Writer’s Funk: Writing Plenty, Producing Nothing

I have not forsaken the blogosphere. Normally I would blame my absence on the Muses forsaking me, but that’s not even true. I’m in one of those funks.  This particular funk is the no-matter-how-I-write-it-it-looks-like-crap-to-me funk.

Generally, I try to say something profound or at least remotely helpful in my blog. Taking a step back to consider that only posting when things work might be a misrepresentation of the writing life, I decided to post about what’s going on now—the time when nothing at all seems to work.


That moment when it gets really tempting to say, “Screw this shit! It’s whiskey o’clock!”

I have a couple of undone blog entries and an almost-finished short story for my project 13 Morbid Tales sitting on my laptop.

The blogs are being hindered by two pesky little demons: the Nobody Wants to Read That demon, and his bitchy associate, the What Will They Think of You demon.  The former whispers, “Seriously, who on Earth really gives a crap about that? The few who might have had similar experiences, so you’re not exactly enlightening anyone.” Meanwhile, the latter whispers, “What? You want the whole world to think you’re a wack-job, in addition to the few who know you well enough to know you’re a wack-job?”  Posting this is kind of my way of telling both demons to f*ck off. Hopefully it works, and you’ll see these posts soon.

The short story is another issue entirely. It has, in my opinion, everything a short story of its nature should have, except for that whole being finished thing.  It started with a loose outline, and of course, as the story started taking shape, it evolved well past the outline. Great! It should have done so. I had momentum.  I had direction. Well, I still have direction, but suddenly no momentum.  Every paragraph I write reads back to me a little something like this:

Blah, blah…Is that even a word?…Blah, blah…Bad segue…Blah, blah…Sentence I really like…Blah, blah, blah, blah…and, oh yeah—blah!

A friend and fellow wordsmith once advised me against doing the “writerly” thing, which, in that particular case, meant reworking a whole paragraph over and over to no avail just because I was too in love with the one sentence that was screwing it up to remove it.  Realizing how great that advice was after I took the troublesome sentence out (because I ended up with a great paragraph), I placed it in the great advice file in my memory bank to be revisited any time I saw myself in a similar situation.  Well, you know what I read after I took out that great sentence? Exactly the same as above minus the “sentence I really like” part! So I scrapped the shit. And by that I mean I scrapped the paragraph, not the story. The story is good.

So, for half a second, I decided to turn to free-writing exercises to help unclog whatever has been stopping me up. But that idea was shot to hell by my own screaming at myself to, for the love of Pete, focus on the task at hand!


There is no conclusion to this post. No great pearl of wisdom. Hell, there isn’t even a plastic Mardi Gras bead of wisdom. Just know that I’ve not abandoned you. I’ve been keeping up with the reading of posts, even if I don’t comment, ’cause God(ess) knows, I haven’t even been able to write a good one of those lately!

15 thoughts on “A Writer’s Funk: Writing Plenty, Producing Nothing

  1. Oh buy do I know what you mean. I am trying to pretend I got something done today besides post about procrastination when in reality I am just trying to avoid my manuscript. Thank you this post made me feel better:)

  2. yes yes and yes.
    I just recently made a post that has some to do with frustration and so I thought, let’s give a look to the others.
    Surprisingly there weren’t many going on, and I thought; is everyone just that strong or are they all thinking posting stuff about this is somewhat… weak?

    Yours is the first honest, proper annoyed one I’ve seen and, I appreciate your honesty on many levels.
    What’s crazy is that, considering a lot of people should be going through this there should be a lot more posts about it and a lot more comments going around, but it’s not.

    In fact this brings me to the next thing, what you did is a little act courage against a stigma that goes on for every creative person; we should be expressing feelings and many specifically skip this one.

    so, well, good post, you made me happy before going to sleep and let out a feeling that’s too often mistaken for whining.


    • Oh wow…thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I’m really touched. 🙂

      • no probs, I honestly think so.
        In the end, considering the current status quo I really think it takes a little courage to openly write something like this, I personally couldn’t do it so straight forward and I particularly appreciate it cause writing is obviously what you love (my blog exists for practical reasons) and doing something like this in regard of creativity, truly is, nowadays, a little act of courage.

      • Thanks again. And I’m actually checking out your blog right now. You’ve got a lot of stuff say. I’m a follower now. 🙂

  3. ps: also, I wish you to catch back the momentum, I’d be sad to know all this energy would go wasted just cause it’s hard to get people to give stuff a try or to simply try to appreciate someone’s job.

    (sometimes I feel that could be enough, but that’s me )

  4. Hey there was a purpose. It taught us the value of deleting annoying paragraphs. Which is everything I write, because I’m never happy with anything.

    Let me echo your ‘gah!’

    In my case I can’t write because of procrastination; not enough time in the day and all that. When I do write I find myself taking far too long to edit and review my previous stuff to get much done.

    My advice to you… get inspired. Find something that makes you want to write more than anything else in the world and write up a storm. Editing can come later. Write until your inspiration has been drained dry.

    • Thank you for your advice! You’re absolutely right. That’s why I thought a free-writing exercise would help me, but then I felt way too guilty about not doing the serious stuff.

      And I repeat…Gah!

      Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! 🙂 Best of luck to you on your writing. You can do it!

      • I post my writings on my own blog. I think it’s the deadline of having to post that makes me work as hard as I do. When I’ve no due date or anything… whew. It’s either inspiration or nothing for me.

  5. Deepfrier said it first, but yes, this was good to read. It’s good not to feel so alone when I’m stuck, that there is someone else out there who gets it and goes through the same thing. Kudos, girl!

  6. Pingback: Finally, Some Productivity! | Trust Me, I'm a Writer

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