I have a terrible writing problem.

person writing on a notebook beside macbook

A problem that isn’t really that bad…

One that I’m sure many writers would love to have. I have too many stories clamoring to get on the page. Choosing which of my children I should give literary birth to first is exhausting. Let me clarify, I’m not complaining about having too much to write, but which story to focus on. I have chapters outlined for Gari on Torthal, dozens of short stories set in the Magic Unleashed series, and a novel worth of material for Ailish from the Centriole. That doesn’t even include old material I want to revisit from The Renegade Galaxy series or older books that I was never confident enough to write.

I’ve already committed to writing the second half of Midwestern Magicians for Nanowrimo in just over a week, but I’d really like to take a stab at a short story between now and then. I’ve had this quandary for days now. The clock is ticking and my sudden paralysis may mean no new material before November. I don’t consider this writers block (something I don’t believe in…) but I can see how hard it can be to overcome self imposed restrictions.

Others suffer in silence, too.

My problem isn’t unique. I’ve lost track of how many writer friends or blog posts I’ve read about deciding where to start or what story to write first. If I’m really honest with myself (harder than it sounds for me) the problem isn’t just organization, but emotional attachment. I can get obsessive when it comes to getting into my characters’ heads, and living a slice of their life. Maybe that is my real hold back, getting too into their space before I settle in to Alex and Liz throughout November.

All is not lost if I don’t write a new story, and I’m well aware that this whole episode is just me beating myself up over something trivial. There are plenty of stories to write, and plenty of time to write them. The problem is entirely a creation of my inner monologue gone awry. “You’re not doing enough. Use your gifts. Don’t squander your time,” repeats in my mind. Eventually, that has an impact, and I guess I’m feeling that right now.

Brighter days are coming.

A month or so from now when I have a second completed book in my series, I won’t think twice about this problem. Today I just needed to vent, and this blog is the perfect outlet for that. My apologies for a rant that might have been better off playing out in my head. Then again, how many other authors out there can relate to this, or need to hear that it will be alright even if the word count drops to zero for a while? I’m not here to judge, just sharing my thoughts as the cold dreary days of winter settle in.

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