Why is it, that after you have experienced a day full of grace and promise, a day when you seem to be moving toward something valuable and altogether more essential in your writing, that it is followed by a day when nothing seems to happen? A day when you seem to be trying to fight your way through molasses, a day when everything you hoped to do seems to just be a faint echo?
Good day, give-up day — this seems to be the pattern I find myself in more than any other. Not that I do give up, mind you, but that’s what I feel like doing. Why? Because there seems to be no movement — it’s like trying to push a boulder. I’m sure you know the feeling. This pattern fascinates me: It’s the old two-step forward, one-step back dance — and it’s a jig that I’d rather not do. It’s all herky-jerky motion rather than smooth sailing, which would be oh! so much more pleasant and agreeable. But that doesn’t seem how writing goes, at least for me.
Why does writing proceed in this way? Haven’t a clue, really. My only thought is that it may be some mysterious integration process, in which we have to somehow stabilize and absorb any forward motion we’ve made before we can move forward again. So the “downer” day is actually a form of decompression, a way to slow down and regroup.
What’s the best way to handle one of these sluggish, “things-were-going-so-well-and-now-I’m-stuck-in-molasses-again” days? For me, just about the only way to get past it is to fight through it — to just keep working, no matter how minimal your progress seems to be. Keep moving and sometime soon you’ll build momentum again. Any other suggestions for how to get through a day like this? Write on.