How Important is Having the Right Mood in Writing?

Let’s face it—there are times when a writer feels like writing, and there are times when he or she doesn’t.

I’m currently stuck in the latter category, after losing interest in writing. It’s weird. The main difference, I believe, is that I have almost no writing in my classes this semester. Last semester it seemed I had a 2000-ish word essay due every week, sometimes two of them in one week; and I kept a consistent blogging schedule through that. This year, the longest thing I’ve written is 1000 words, and the second longest is 500. My blogging has also been random, but still substantial.

February 2011 writing statistics:

  • Word count of school-related works, combined: 1,900
  • Word count of blog posts, combined: 7,100

Compare this with the statistics for November 2010:

  • School-related: 9,800
  • Blog posts: 7,300
  • NaNoWriMo Novel: 50,200

Dang. That’s a total of 9,000 for Feb 2011 and 63,700 for Nov 2010. It means I wrote 7 times more last November than in the past month. Wow, this makes me feel like an uber slacker now.

Anyways, here’s the point of this post: I was supposed to edit the NaNo novel this month, March 2011. It seems, however, that I am just not in the mood for extensive writing. And in case you don’t know, editing and revising is QUITE time-consuming. It’s like writing a piece of Java code in 15 minutes, and then spending the next five hours fixing it so that it doesn’t break anything.

Even worse, now that I look at it, the plot of what I’ve got so far is terrible, and the characters don’t develop at all. It’s incoherent as a novel goes, partly because I wrote an ending to a different novel than I had envisioned when I started it, so that now the beginning and end aren’t cohesive.

It’s bad enough that I almost want to delete the word file off my computer and never see it again. I’m very ambivalent here. I just don’t want to leave it hanging there unfinished. But if I were to continue my plan of “editing” the novel, it would be less “editing,” and more “rewriting the whole damn thing.” Oh well.

So here’s the question: What should I do? I already have another project idea in mind if I’m going to not do the novel, and it’ll be an academic spin on something that is in itself not very academic. Thoughts?

3 thoughts on “How Important is Having the Right Mood in Writing?

  1. nonononononono. Sean, don’t get discouraged — I KNOW whatever you have written is probably better than it looks to your eyes right now. Although I do suppose if you’re entirely sick of it, it’s fair to put it aside, but I wouldn’t give up on it entirely.

    Also, I have been looking forward to reading this since four months ago. [/selfish!Samie]

    Anyways, we all go through slumps like this, and I’m sure you’ll get through it. Not even professional writers can write incredible amounts every day with an extraordinarily high calibre. Take a break and focus on something else, and you’ll get your groove back for writing. :] Cheers, and good luck!


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