Posted on Nov 14, 2010 in Blog

Do other writers out there in the universe ever get to feeling like they’ve used up all of their creative karma?  Like you’ve spent all of your ideas on one book, or article, or essay, and now have nothing left to say?

For me, it’s always the same cycle.  I’ll start something — be it an article, or another idea for a novel, or a short story — and suddenly have this horrible, sinking feeling that I’m not actually a writer at all.  That what I’ve actually been doing for the past twenty-three years or so is just riding on a particularly long-lasting stream of luck.  A stream of luck which has now run dry and left me with nothing.  No ideas, no drive.  Or fledgling ideas that don’t come with the requisite amount of intellectual ability to get them down on the page.  Sometimes, I sit down at my computer and feel like I’ve forgotten how to construct a sentence. 

It comes back, eventually.  Usually, once I’ve let an idea roll around in my mind for long enough, the story will start to come, and then I’ll get into it, and then everything else will become unimportant and I’ll sacrifice my Friday nights to sit at home with a cup of tea and my computer.  And then the book will become a monster, and I won’t be able to rest until it’s done.  That wonderful stage so aptly summed up by Winston Churchill:

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.


I’m back in the before stages now.  Latest draft of the newest novel off to the agent, waiting to see what they have to say.  And the whisper of another novel slowly becoming more insistent.  And still, I sit at my computer and out comes nothing.  


Have you ever felt this way?