As all writers do, I also go through various mindsets with regards to my writing as time passes by. Often, like other writers’ mindsets, these are simply typical doubts and fears that all writers have about their writing. Other times, these mindsets are driven by my mental illness.
Most of the time, I have confidence in my writing, regardless of what I’m writing. Even when I’m at my worst emotionally, or hating what I write, I feel that it’s good, strong, worthy of being shared. It is in this mindset I frequently write on—and read through—my projects, and it is this mindset which enables me to say any day where I wrote was a good day, even if it was the worst day I could have possibly had in every other way.
Then there are the writing downswing days. This year, I’ve had a lot of them, but they haven’t driven me up the wall like they usually do. Most of the time, I’ve been able to be creative in some way, particularly with my stories, during these downswings. These downswings are often driven by my bipolar disorder, so I try to go with the flow and when I can’t get the writing aspect of my life to work because of one, I turn to reading or other forms of entertainment.
And, like all authors, I go through periods where I feel like my writing sucks. I can’t bear to look at anything to read, never mind write on, because at this time I see myself as a hack—that my skills are lacking, that my story is lackluster, and that my execution needs work. While this may be true in some ways, once I’m over this mood and look over my work, I find that I was, mostly, wrong. However, whenever I go through a period of “my writing sucks,” it better enables me to see my writing objectively, particularly things I’ve worked on recently, than I normally do, so I suffer through it without much complaint because I know it’s opening my mind to seeing and finding—and correcting the problems.
Right now, I’m going through a highly creative phase. Within the past six weeks, I’ve started developing two new worlds and getting plot point ideas down for stories set on them. These two new worlds each got their own magic system. I’ve also been writing on TPOM3; not as often as I’d like, but I’ve been making progress. My creative phases like this tend to cycle like my bipolar, and this creative phase has come at about the same time that depressive cycle has hit; as a result, writing is just about the only thing I’m working on these days.
Then there are fallow periods. This is where writing doesn’t interest me at all. When I get up in the morning during these phases, I have plans for other things I’d like to do. Reading, watching movies, going out (even if alone), tending to housework which generally goes neglected when I’m focused on writing. These don’t happen very often, maybe once or twice a year, if that, but when they do, writing actually bores me.
So those are some of the various phases I go through with my writing. Some strike me more often than others (like those pesky downswings), but I’ve learned to work with them for the most part. Another writer may not go through these exact same phases, and others may have quite different cycles they go through with their writing; no two writers are exactly a like.