Some of you have been following along with the writing of my first novel. I started this as a project during quarantine in the spring of 2020 and it flourished during those months and in the summer of 2020 as well. Since the start of the school year in 2020 though, my motivation to write slowly wained away. I want to hash out on here what caused the block but also things I am doing to be proactive, finish my project and write my book!
First off, the obvious block to my writing process, the stress of the pandemic WHILE working at the same time. During that quarantine period I was stuck home with literally nothing to do. True, I checked in with my students a few times a week and posted assignments, but the work was minimal and I was literally stuck at home. Heading back to work in August of 2020 put a serious dampener on my writing. I had not anticipated and still can’t wrap my mind around how difficult the 2020/2021 school year was. Everyday we sanitized the classroom. Everyday we taught through masks. Now, I shouldn’t complain because I have friends in healthcare that dealt with much worse, but COVID teaching is the worst kind of teaching. This stressful situation lead to stress at home which in turn lead to less time reading and writing.
The next thing that caused the block was doubt. Doubt primarily in myself. If you recall back to 2020 (seems so long ago and at the same time like it’s still happening), some artists were dropping books, and albums and so many amazing things. All of these things done during their quarantine periods. Now, mind you, I did start my book over quarantine, but with the start of my full time job and the stress of teaching during COVID, my work on it slowly faded. The doubt started to creep in as I saw Taylor Swift drop two albums. You might think, “music and books are totally different things though,” and you might be right, but in my eye it was another art form and I was failing at completing it.
Finally, I all together stopped. Not for the fear that what I was writing was bad, but the fear of what to do with it when I finish it. Can I find an agent? How do I get it published? Do I publish as an indie author? What if it never gets published? Do I even want it published? These thoughts and SO many more were flying around in my head and making me seriously second guess myself and what I was doing with this book and even more than that what I would do if I finished the book.
After a few months of reflection, a job change and buying a new house I can say I am in a much better head space. Did I need these life changes to get back on track with writing and what makes me happy in life? Probably not, but they certainly helped! Between the career change and finally owning a place of my own to live in I feel solid. I feel like I can finally take on this book and so much more. So here’s my reminder for you… sometimes writer’s block might seem straightforward but it might be several things piling up and adding stress to your life. Maybe you need to step back from your book for a day, a week, a month or maybe even a year. That’s okay. What matters is you, your mental health and what makes you happy. It took me a few months, but I am happy to say I am working on my book again! If you want to check it out, feel free to check it out on WattPad and share your thoughts! It’s a work in progress and still a draft, but it’s something!