One of the really great things about my bipolar disorder is the writing downswings it causes. /sarcasm
Actually, sarcasm aside, it does serve a purpose. It keeps me from getting burnt out on what I’m writing and enables my subconscious mind to catch up to what my conscious mind has been doing with my writing. I just wish it wouldn’t happen. There are times I wish I was more like average writers, whose minds generally don’t go on hiatus in the middles of projects.
Usually I have this wish when I’m in the middle of a writing downswing. Like I am now.
I’m kind of glad this one’s happening now, and I’m hoping it won’t last more than a week or two longer. I’ve been struggling getting plot cards on both my current projects since the fifth of this month, and it’s now the fourteenth. That’s nine days. As writing downswings go, this isn’t too bad yet. I’d like to be back to creating by the twenty-fifth, so I’m “willing” to hang out doing nothing on my writing for about another ten or so days.
With any luck, I won’t come back into writing focused on the other genre I spent a small number of years writing. Gay romances. Nothing wrong with them, except I spent the entire time writing them full of anxiety. I was afraid of so many things, not the least of which was that I was going to completely run out of ideas to write. No matter now many new ideas I got, I had that fear. I also hated writing them, I was just so desperate to write anything I wrote them. They weren’t as fun as Fantasy is for me. Neither were they challenging; I love the fact I have to keep an eye on making my worldbuilding and magic systems consistent in Fantasy. I also don’t doubt the ideas; I’m much more confident I’ll get fresh, new, fun to write ideas when I’m writing Fantasy.
I simply love writing Fantasy, and I think it shows.
Even when I was writing the gay romances, I got writing downswings. They were just more frequent, and, in some ways, more traumatizing. Probably because I wasn’t writing what I really wanted to write—but I just wasn’t getting any Fantasy ideas. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t find any joy in the gay romances, but I don’t want to go back to that, even on a temporary basis. When I swung back into Fantasy writing last year in the middle of December (after a Nano where I forced out Yet Another Gay Romance via outline), it was a great relief. I was happy again.
This year, since starting writing Fantasy again, I’ve had one downswing. Sometime early in the year. At the end of May, before which I segued into writing the gay romances again. On June first, however, I was back into Unsought Gifts, the first book of my Power of Music trilogy. And Fantasy’s all I’ve written since then.
What I’m really hoping is that this year is an example of a trend with Fantasy writing. That it’ll be something I’ll spend more time writing, that I won’t have as many writing downswings with it, that my confidence level and joy in it will fuel the fires of inspiration enough to prevent too many severe writing downswings. After the hell of last year where I didn’t make substantial progress on anything unless I had an outline and was participating in some sort of mass writing event (Julno, Nano), and where I was absolutely miserable and depressed with what I was writing, I really want my return to Fantasy to be something of if not unalloyed goodness, at least something I can count on to keep me going.
And I’ll say this. I’ve written a couple scenes on Brotherhood since the downswing began. The outline makes it easy. I mean that. It’s easy to write outlined Fantasy scenes, even in a downswing. Every gay romance scene I forced out last year was forced. I had to work to write them, and I felt disconnected from the writing, and I was always surprised at how well the scenes turned out. I’ve had none of that on the scenes I’ve written in Brotherhood since the downswing began. My only issue is that I’m not coming up with plot cards because of the lack of muse, I guess you could say, induced by the writing downswing.
I think last year was my rock-bottom in writing. I was miserable and spent most of the year in a writing downswing. It was depressing, not just figuratively but literally as well. This year has been the complete opposite. I’m happy. I’m enjoying writing like I used to. I have my confidence back—and that is a great thing. It feels wonderful.
So I think I can weather this and other writing downswings as long as I can feel confident I’ll be returning to Fantasy following it, and I do.