Monday, March 12, 2012

Stray Thoughts: Get the Funk Out

Bookish by Sky Sloderbeck
On Saturday, March 10th, I turned 39. The week leading up to this was spring break for my university. I spent the entire week gorging myself on carbs and staring at the computer screen, unable to string any words together. Some might call this writer's block, some might call it a lack of motivation, I call it a funk.

I have never been a big fan of my own birthdays, especially now. The strain of this past birthday was not only internal, but external. For personal reasons that I won't go into here, this past birthday has been one of my least favorites ever. Additionally, my writing has suffered, my creativity has suffered, and my humor has suffered.

Many writers, I suspect, fall into this kind of funk from time-to-time for various reasons, and they all have different ways to pull themselves out of it. For me, it's deadlines. A deadline gives me the motivation, the adrenaline boost, that kicks me in the rear and gets me going.

And I have a deadline coming up.

No later than April 1, but preferably by next weekend, I need to complete the second draft of a short story. Once this draft is complete, I have to mail it off to the organizer of the writing conference I'm attending in April. I'm in a master class with five other writers and a published author and we will be critiquing manuscripts. My story is a sci-fi short written from a point-of-view that is risky, to say the least, and it is a story that I hope I can expand into a novel one day.

The funk is still there trying very hard to urge me back to mindless TV and pointless web surfing, but the deadline won't permit that. The deadline is key to getting me back in the writing habit. The deadline is wonderful. I know that, as a writer, I may not always have deadlines other than the ones that I impose upon myself, but for now, this deadline couldn't have come at a better time.

How do you shake the funk when life gets you down or drags you away from your writing for an extended period? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


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