Thursday, March 5, 2015

In a Slump

- a post by Jeanna Mason Stay

I’ve been in a major slump when it comes to writing. Seriously. The last several times I sat down to write an MMW post, it didn’t happen. Last fortnight’s post only happened because my husband took mercy on me and wrote a guest post. But I’m starting to think it’s maybe one of those get-back-in-the-saddle-again things. Like this whole writing this is getting scarier and scarier because I keep avoiding it.

Here’s a true story:

You may or may not remember that I am a bit petrified of driving. Yes, I’ve gotten fairly used to it, and desensitization has definitely helped a lot (ongoing exposure to the thing you’re scared of). But I wasn’t always so petrified.

Back when I was fifteen, I took driver’s ed. I wasn’t a great driver, and I wasn’t superbly comfortable doing it, but I was passable. Then, through a series of unimportant, unrelated events, I didn’t get my license. Then the certificate saying I passed driver’s ed expired, so I had more reasons not to get a license. What started out as lack of comfort with driving grew bigger over the ensuing years. It became low-level anxiety, then it grew into occasional nightmares, and it kept going until just the thought of driving was slightly nauseating.

My phobia developed over a long stretch of time, and though it is fairly manageable now, I still have to be careful. If I go too long without driving at least a bit, I start feeling anxious again. I have to take the freeway frequently because I find that if I avoid it for a week or two, the fear begins to rise. It has to be tamped down on a regular basis.

I think I have gotten that way about writing too. Even now, typing this post, I can feel the tension in my shoulders, and my brain wants to be anywhere but here. It’s about all I can do to just stay on the page and not go skittering off to check Facebook or my email or Youtube or really anything. But it is only the continuing to do something that wears away at this sort of anxiety.

So this post, my friends, is my therapy. :) And you’ve all made lovely therapists. You probably deserve a raise. But I’m not going to give it to you. Unless I suddenly write a best-seller and magically become filthy rich (ha!). Then I’ll credit you all in the acknowledgments.

In the meantime, back in the real world, I hope that if you too are in a writing slump you will just sit down, tell the anxiety to go take a time-out like a misbehaving toddler, and write.


  1. I'm so glad you wrote here! I've definitely been there myself. Onward!

  2. What a great perspective about writing. You nailed it- the longer you don't do something, the harder it is to start it up again. Thank you for the post!

  3. Oh gosh, we all have slumps! I've had my share. They're awful, but you are right. We just have to write anyway!



Related Posts with Thumbnails