I’ve absolutely no idea why it’s the same thing every year. March, April, and May tend to be dud months for me – more like limbo months where I feel like I’m neck-deep in quicksand that won’t suck me in further. Sadistic quicksand, more like, because I can think and see and breathe and so on, but the rest of me feels encased in cement.
Things have been worse than sluggish, writing-wise. I was going to get started on the next Masks book, but the thought of having to tackle a novel made me crawl back under the covers with one of my cats. Since I can’t just not write for X amount of time, I thought I’d fall back on my original goal of getting the third fantasy novella out of the way, and…
If you’ve seen or read Henry V, you’ll remember this scene:
Alice teaching Kate a handful of English words and both of them failing badly in getting the pronunciations correct (well, Alice knew the correct words but didn’t know how to pronounce them properly). I had to laugh at one of the comments on the video page: “How many of us have had a friend try to teach us basic Spanish, French, etc., and like here, it becomes a case of the deaf leading the blind?!! LOL!!” I pointed at the screen and said, “Hey! That’s how the last three months were with me!” Though I honestly can’t say which one is deaf, and which one is blind (me or the cosmos).
At any rate, my WIP has gotten over the weird mini-block or hump and is now moving forward smoothly. I don’t know if suddenly getting slapped down by a block at 6,000 words says something about my brain function (blocks tend to happen at least 15,000 words into a story), but there it is. I’m still getting used to writing a novella, i.e., ignoring the pressure (self-imposed?) of expanding the story more and more until I reach novel-length, and I still have to remind myself about flexibility in word count targets for shorter stuff. It’s a bit of a learning curve, dropping all the unnecessary padding and sticking to what’s important while sprinkling a touch of setting and character description here and there to keep the story from being so generic and bland.
I really like it, though. It’s a great exercise in storytelling, and I think focusing on shorter lengths for a time will help me through my burnout. That’s been dogging me for a couple of years now, with each new WIP getting harder and harder to write (start and finish, even). That burnout’s also filtered into my reading as I can’t get myself to pick up a novel of any genre. Everything I’ve been reading so far have been either stand-alone novellas or short story anthologies, and I’ve been enjoying them immensely. I’ve only been adding books to my library over at Smashwords but can’t be arsed to buy any of them because they’re mostly novels, and hopefully I’ll get over this someday so I can finally commit myself to longer books.
Come to think of it, my burnout’s also affected my viewing habits. I can’t get into any new series now – only films that I can see once unless it’s pretty damned good and warrants repeat viewing.
I suppose the only cause for worry is whether or not this phase I’m going through will affect the next Masks book, as I’ve been toying with the idea of just leaving Dr. Morbid’s Castle of Blood as the last novel in the series and then following that up with a few mini-adventures in novella format. I don’t know. I’d hate to break up the series that way, but with me feeling so tired mentally, the temptation’s there.