With the amount of time I spend on booktube, I often hear the words “reading slump”. This means a period of time where you just don’t feel like reading, where no book really grasps your attention and where Netflix is infinitely more interesting. There are myriad videos and posts floating around on how to beat these reading slumps.
I don’t have a reading slump at the moment (cue a ‘knock on wood’ moment here). I do have a writing slump. Not a writer’s block: I have plenty of ideas, I’ve been writing several of them. The writing itself isn’t the problem.
The problem is my lack of confidence in what I write. I often struggle with a lack of self-confidence, and my writing is not excluded from this problem – far from it. In fact, it’s one of the first areas where I notice my depression returning. I start feeling like nothing I write is good enough, that my writing itself isn’t good enough. It quickly turns into a vicious cycle, where I start feeling dumb and inadequate, and these feelings in turn make me feel like everything I write is terrible, horrible, no good whatsoever.
Since December, I’ve been trying to upload a blogpost fairly regularly. I even have something resembling a schedule: a book review on Mondays, no posts on Sundays (no Harry Potter reference intended), Wednesdays are entire optional because of a lack of time, try to talk about something else than books once a week. And it’s been working fairly ok, I haven’t been uploading as frequently as I would like, but it’s been much more than I expected, and I’ve still been getting more ideas and plans for what I would like to do.
But lately, nothing feels like it’s good enough. I look back on what I wrote, and it’s so much simpler and badly written than I thought at first. I also definitely don’t feel like I’m ‘authorised’ to write about books, which is just plain silly. And so I end up, like I’ve been doing lately, with a lot of unfinished drafts and an increasingly long list of blogpost topics I don’t write but instead stare at while my tea grows cold and my brain does not cooperate.
It’ll be fine again eventually, I know these things don’t last forever. And once it gets better, I’ll try to write a blogpost on how to beat these kinds of slumps. For now? I might just use this blog as a dumping place for whatever thoughts happen to be crossing my mind (with some control over it, don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a giant mess of just rambling. No more than usual, at least.)
After all, apparently the best cure against writing problems is to just write. So I’m going to do exactly that.
Have you ever had a problem like this? How do you get out of these kinds of slumps? Let me know in the comments below!