I’m having Writer’s Slump.
Writer’s Slump (WS) is different from Writer’s Block (WB). WB is short-term; a stretch of a few hours when you just don’t like anything you’ve written. This is best exemplified by scenes in most 1980s movies where one of the protags is writing a letter or research paper on yellow tablet. The camera zooms in on our hero / heroine writing frantically, sighing in disgust, hitting themselves in the head, and then cuts away to a wadded up piece of paper landing harmlessly short of the trash can in the midst of 30-40 other wads. They eventually come up with something decent later that night and they move on. This is Writer’s Block. This is not what I have.
Writer’s Slump, as it currently stands, lasts for 2-3 weeks. It’s similar to WB in that your writing sucks most of the time. However, combined with unsatisfactory writing (UW) is an extreme lack of motivation that morphs into Writing Aversion (WA). If I were writing a mathematical equation for this it would be:
WS = WB / UW x WA
I liken this phenomenon to what happened to my relationships with pancakes as a child. Every Saturday morning my mom would make pancakes. This was clutch, because the second awesomest food in her cooking rotation was pancakes. (#1 – cheesecake) I would pride myself in being able to eat more pancakes than everyone else in the household combined. I was a machine. I looovvvved my mom’s pancakes.
However, I distinctly remember waking up one fateful Saturday morning and uttering the heretical phrase, “I’m not in the mood for pancakes.” Nobody in the family knew what to do with me. They took my temperature, rubbed some Vick’s on my chest, and hooked me up to an IV with a maple syrup drip. It was brutal. This lasted for several weeks. I couldn’t explain it; I just didn’t want pancakes.
Eventually this tempestuous phase in my life subsided. A few weeks later I started eating pancakes in abundance once again. I still love pancakes to this day. But I still remember the horrific few weeks of pancake aversion.
It’s the same way with Writer’s Slump. I love writing. I have many different venues for writing, so I don’t get burned out with any one style. I’ve got a big curriculum project in the works, a teen-friendly webzine that I write, a blog, and I even write a Faith Lens this week. I love all of these arenas for writing…but I also currently HATE the idea of writing. I invent new, less important projects to work on so I don’t have to write. I’m over 2 weeks past deadline on the curriculum project. The Faith Lens got in just under the gun. My annual report for my church job was one of the last to be turned in. At this point, it’s more than just being a slacker…I’ve got a scorching case of WRITER’S SLUMP.
If any of you have ever been inflicted with this insidious disease – and have come up with a viable cure – please let me know. My happiness, livelihood, and existence as a human being depends on it!