I’ve hit a wall. It’s not surprising. It happens every once in a while. And even though it doesn’t make any logical sense that I can maintain a high level of energy and creativity indefinitely, it always takes me by surprise.
I have different ways of getting defunkified. Sometimes it’s as simple as playing favorite music or taking a long hot shower. Other times, it’s simply a matter of waiting it out. It usually never lasts more than a week.
But the more pervasive the funk is, the more I have to look within myself and figure out what’s causing it. Am I pursuing the wrong approach with a project? Am I setting too high of expectations for myself? Am I simply not liking what I’m working on? Am I working on something I don’t enjoy?
I’ve been working these past several months with blinders on. And they have served me well. But now that I’m venturing out into the wild world of “marketing my product,” I am finding myself flummoxed by the sheer volume of hopeful writers hawking their wares. I’m perplexed by editorial choices in some top-flight magazines, and I’m blown away by the level of some stories found in for-the-love markets that pay only in copies. It’s a big world out there, and there isn’t always a clear-cut reason why stories find a home in one place and not another.
It seems to me that when I find myself in one of these Stage 3 Blue Funks, the only thing I can do is write my way through it. I’ve gotta stop trying to figure out editorial decisions from the outside, and just work my way in through the inside…which means writing more stories, better stories.
That always turns out to be the best solution. And it’s really all any of us can do. Get to work and let the rest take care of itself.
Now I’m off to take an outrageously long hot shower with Lady Gaga on the boombox, and then it’s back to the Great Barrier Reef, where I left my characters last.
What about you guys? How do you fight the Blue Funk?