If you’ve been following my posts for the past couple of months, you’ll have noticed my productivity go down and my excitement over my current project wane considerably. I’ve written about a few of the causes but I’ve been somewhat in denial about a major reason, one I’m going to talk about today.
At the starting point of my current work in progress (WIP in writer-short), I have chosen to showcase my main character at her emotional rock bottom. She’s in a place I almost hit many many years ago. I’ve chosen to do this because I want my series to showcase her emotional growth and her ability to bounce back despite all the pressures on her. I want to make her struggle and show her that she really can make it in the end. It’s a small part of the novel and series arc, and it’s an extremely important aspect to me.
However, delving back into that mindset is hard. Far harder than I ever thought it would be. Seasoned writers can affirm that the emotions you put your characters through can have a parallel effect (probably the wrong term but the one I’m going to go with) to the point that you as the artist feel whatever they’re feeling right along with them. Or are at least weighed down by their reaction.
I read a blog post by Ilona Andrews awhile back where she said that she was down in the dumps and sad for no particular reason. Then she said her character Kate is sad about something in her current WIP so she’s probably feeling the effects of that.
After reading that statement from a veteran writer I knew I had to face my own problem. I have been having the most difficult time diving back into my own WIP because I don’t know how to get myself out of the emotional tailspin I need to enter in order to write my character effectively. Switching back and forth between my past and present mental states is exhausting. I’m still so excited about the project and think about it all the time, I just can’t seem to open up my draft, centre myself, and add words.
Maybe realizing this problem is the first step to getting back on the horse, but I think I need to find some sort of after-writing activity to get me back to my current emotional plane. Because I sure as heck am not where I once was and I hate feeling like I am even for the sake of art.
Has anyone out there had this problem? If so, what do you do about it? I am really at a loss with this one!