I’ve been in a weird place mentally lately. I haven’t been able to write. My anxiety has been over the top, and I just haven’t been able to come up with words – for my WIP, for my blog, barely even for work. I don’t understand it, but it’s the kind of anxiety that leaves me staring my screen, holding my breath, chewing on my tongue and the inside of my cheeks so hard that they are sore. The thought of writing makes my hands shake and my heart pound. The thought of not writing makes me want to retreat to a dark corner and sleep until this feeling passes.
I hate it.
But slowly, maybe, my head is clearing again. I might be finding my words again. I hope I am. I feel like such a fake when I can’t get words and plot to come together. I worry I’ll never write another story. It’s all so frustrating.
In the meantime, I’m just trying to manage what I can control. I’ve queried dozens of agents since Pitch Wars ended in November – and I received full requests! My first manuscript only received a couple of requests, and the querying process was spread out over nearly a year. Soon, I will have some exciting news to announce regarding my queries.
I have a tentative plan for a new WIP. It isn’t fleshed out very well yet, but I’m excited about it. I also want to go back and visit my very first manuscript. I think it might need another rewrite, but I’m okay with that. When I let one of my critique partners read the first few chapters of my new WIP, she said that my writing seemed fiercer now. I know that manuscript had its good points, but it was also my first. It was rough around the edges. It didn’t gleam the way it could.
First though, the new WIP. I need to bring it together so I can quit fixating on my lack of progress. I know there’s something awesome there. I just have to find it, and it’s hard for me to let go of the gnarled pieces and the pages that don’t work. After finishing a manuscript and putting it through Pitch Wars, I feel silly having so many false starts and plot bunnies that go nowhere. I need to put the perfectionism behind and focus on getting a story on the page. That’s where it starts.
I can’t remember how many chapters I deleted from my previous manuscripts. And let’s not even start on scenes that needed stripped and rewritten. Finishing a manuscript and starting from scratch again makes me feel lost.
Somewhere in this jumble of images is part of my story trying to emerge.
Hopefully, I’ll be in a better frame of mind for writing and I can post again soon. It’s therapeutic to type through my thoughts, even if no one else reads them. And if someone does, I hope my words help you somehow.