It’s drama time!!
Let’s talk about writing withdrawals. But first I want to know;
Is it even a real thing?…
*Does a quick Google search*
In amongst the drug information pages, I found two pages. One had really helpful info (see the second article), and the other it turns out was about how to write withdrawal (and the symptoms) in your novel.
As it turns out, if you place emphasis on certain syllables in the phrase ‘Writing Withdrawals’, then you will be having a discussion on how to write withdrawal (drugs) in a novel.
If you are here for that, here is the site I found that actually has some pretty good info on how to write about withdrawal:
The second article I found was actually right on topic!
Helen Mackiven’s blog was front page and hit the mark perfectly in what I want to talk about today! The post is from 2013 but still totally relevant today in the feelings she was talking about.
She talks about her exhaustion from working, travel, just being busy in general and how that impacted writing her WIP. My favourite part was actually when she said this;
But I missed writing. I didn’t have the shakes but I did feel withdrawal symptoms of frustration.
It’s so true! Usually when you hear about withdrawals, you think of all the physical symptoms such as shakes, exhaustion, headaches, etc. But we all fail to realise that withdrawals are just our body longing for something, desiring it so much that it hurts.
So what exactly is Writing Withdrawal??
In my opinion;
Writing Withdrawal (my) Definition noun feeling a deep longing to write something, most likely a work in progress/ uncompleted manuscript. "writing withdrawal has made me feel sick"
Recently I’ve been feeling the strongest pull to write. After hitting 70k and then 72k – as you would have seen in my last writing update – I have felt closer than ever to completing this novel. Closer than ever to the end of my first ever WIP, but for some god-forsaken reason, I cannot seem to write it!
Why do we suffer from Writing Withdrawals?
In my completely unprofessional opinion, aside from the obvious of just not writing, things that prevent us from sitting down and completing the task can be a variety of things.
- Avoidance. For me, I could be avoiding writing the ending to my WIP for fear it will end so soon. Such a weird thing to be feared but really, aren’t we all scared of the end?
- Work (like paid work). This is kinda shitty when all you want to do is focus your undivided attention on your creative hobby, but work is important and oftentimes mentally draining, leaving no room for your brain to create a story.
- Not in the mood. And I don’t mean a writer’s block. I mean that you’re in the absolutely wrong mindset to write the genre/ characters/ etc. that are in your story, despite how much you want to go back!
These are a few of the main reasons I find that I don’t get to writing. There are other things I can’t identify, no matter how hard I try, no matter how deep I dig into my messy mind.
Along with not writing comes the intense feelings of disappointment, which, especially if not in the right mindset can lead to other negative thoughts. Of course, if identified that this is the root of your feelings, there are ways you can deal with it.
Dealing with intense feelings:
Bringing this back around to Helen’s article, no matter how much we want to beat ourselves up about not writing when we want to, there are always things which we do with our time that are worth our praise.
Understanding this and constantly positively reinforcing our actions and achievements (as I mentioned in another post a while back) is so healthy for your mind and soul.
The only consolation is that I compensated for neglecting my WIP by reading more instead so that was a bonus.
Regardless of how little I have been writing since I started full-time work, I have been reading so so so much more!
It’s obvious that we cannot do all our creative tasks at once and if we could all have one wish as writers, I’m sure it would be for more time (and to meet our fictional crush).
We just never and will never have enough time to purse all our creative passions and that has been something that I have had to learn to deal with over the years as I set more and more projects for myself. But if there is one thing we can be proud of is our incremental progress in our projects.
No matter how far we’ve come, we have made progress!
Maybe you wrote 10,000 words, or you finished that 560-page book. Did you finish your journal or find the courage to start one? Maybe you wrote a story idea or plan?
Whatever it may be, you did something and you should be proud of yourself!
Now, I’m going to stop talking about not writing and actually write something before I have to wake up at 7:30 am for work tomorrow and commence another day full of online induction training.
I hope you enjoyed this post, learnt something and may you always sing your own praises because you damn well deserve it!
Have you ever had writing withdrawals & how have you delt with it?
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