Personally, I'm in a bit of a writing slump right now. There's a lot going on in my life—between my transition back to the United States after four months in the UK and all of the emotions that entails, my lack of a summer job, and the impending doom of my senior year of college—and the writer in me who has always turned emotions and experiences into stories and characters has been replaced by a creature that is lucky if she's able to keep a journal. It's like my own brain has gone into lock-down, overwhelmed by the excess creative stimuli, and is blocking out the inspiration.
Now, I've been told, and I've believed in the past that "inspiration" is helpful to writing but not necessary. I mean, that's basically the driving force between NaNoWriMo: none of us would have gotten to the 50K mark if we had waited for inspiration to strike.
However, I've never hit a block as solid as this one. I've had times when I was procrastinating, but once I knuckled down and started writing, things eventually came more smoothly. I've had times when I didn't know what was going to happen next in a piece, but I would move on or start over in order to get any further.
But this is something different. I can feel it. I don't feel like I have anything to write. I have a lot of things I could write, but it's almost painful to try. The other night, I just sat down and forced myself to write a page of non-academic writing, and though I was able to do it, I'm not sure how, or whether it was worth it. It didn't give me any more confidence, it didn't make my inner writer feel any less trapped…in fact, it made me feel like I'm doomed never to write again.
I look at my notebooks, and they actually fill me with a sort of fear. Not just a procrastinator's dread, but a fear as if there's something bad waiting for me inside them. I still cary them around, and periodically, I write down quotes I want to remember, ideas for characters, dialogue, settings, etc. in them, but that feels more like flexing a vestigial muscle, now. There's no connective tissue piecing things together.
I guess I just wanted to share that with you folks. I wondered if any of you had ever experienced something like that, and whether you pulled out of it eventually or not. I'm hoping that it will all pass after I've been home for a little bit, or once I start up my summer rec. reading. But right now, it feels seriously impassible, and every word I type in fiction gives me a toothache.