March 26th, 2007

3C273

Noooo, not the Block again! Please, I'll do anything!

Writer's block sucks. I was almost completely blocked for six and a half years -- wrote two shortish stories and two WIPs and a lot of false starts during those years. And then I started writing in volume again last summer, thanks to the obsession of SG:A.

And now I feel like I'm falling back into it again. My last couple of stories have been a struggle, and on re-reading they seem really stiff and awkward to me. My imagined stories are getting so far ahead of my written stories that I'm forgetting what I was planning to do with that plot. I start to work on something and I think 'This sounds really lame,' and I quit after a paragraph or two. I don't want to get really blocked again, but it feels like that's what's starting to happen, and I'm super-paranoid about it because it was so hard to get out of before.

My conscience says I should get a beta. Someone to help smooth out that occasional awkwardness. Then I could be satisfied with the quality of my writing again, and that would make it easier for me to write more. But since an overloud, overcritical internal editor is such a big part of my problem, I'm afraid to risk adding an external editor on top of that. I should have shopped for betas back when I was tooling along confidently, then we would have an established writer/editor relationship already.

My baser impulses say I should get a cheerleader, or beg for positive feedback or something. But I really hate it when writers do that. And I really think it's important for readers (all readers, mine and others') to feel free to point out problems with stories. And it's a mistake to depend excessively on others for our own inspiration, right? So I end up fingering over old story comments in the hopes that will increase my confidence, and instead it just makes me bitter that I can't write as easily as I did then.

Maybe I'll try the old write-every-day-even-if-it's-crap trick. Which didn't work during my previous block, but perhaps it'll be enough to stop a downward slide if I'm not really there yet. Maybe.

Anyway, I made myself write today and finished another stiff, awkward story, so I should be happy, right? Yeah, whatever. It's posted over at sga_flashfic and will go up here once the challenge is over. And in a few weeks or a month I'll be able to tell if it's actually any good or not.

Sigh.
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