I feel like I've lost half the year.
That's a bit of an exaggeration; I was doing okay until some time in mid-February, when things kind of came crashing down around me in my head. I spent the next few months dragging myself down, around, through, and eventually out of that. It's taken me that long to feel like I can make this writing thing work for myself again.
But it feels like a lot has changed. Where I used to be able to sit down and hammer out two or three pages of plot and story work in a night, I now struggle to figure out a few paragraphs' worth. It used to be easy to work on my current project every night, but now, I constantly have to remind myself that it's okay if I don't feel like working on anything on a given evening. And with every project, I wonder when I'll lose interest in it, or if I'll feel like I can't figure out how to make it work, and set it aside to maybe pick up again someday (but probably not).
My feelings about this, as I'm sure you could imagine, are mixed.
There are, however, two positive things I can get out of this. The first is the hope that I'm actually getting better at this writing thing, which is why it's getting more difficult. I talked in my last entry about seeing things in published books that I've learned not to do, so maybe I'm having more trouble putting things together in my own plots because I've got a better idea of what does and doesn't make a story work. I could go on about this for a while, but a lot of it is too nebulous and long-winded to fit into a single blog entry. >_<
It strikes me as funny that I'm thinking of things this way, though, because I used to feel like writing was an easy thing. I didn't entirely understand when people talked about how hard it was. I do now.
The second positive thing is that I can consider any work I manage to get done as positive progress. Getting a page done is better than just a few paragraphs. One paragraph is better than just a sentence or two. And a single sentence is better than nothing. Plotting used to feel like drawing a map as I explored new territory; it now feels like chipping away at a stone with only the basic idea of what I'm trying to carve and knowing that it could all change as I go.
But slow progress is better than no progress at all. Any day that I get something done, I count as good. I have to, or else I'll only have bad days.
To put it simply, this year has already been a kind of personal writing hell, and it's only half over. I'll take any positivity I can get.