Thursday, 26 April 2012

Why can't I write fiction at the moment?

I consider myself a short story writer by trade having  sold literally hundreds of stories to various magazines. When my  private life imploded (2010 and then even more so in March 2011), I carried on writing fiction but the stories just weren’t any good – proved by the marked decrease in sales.
In the end I had to take a break from fiction. The good news is I ended up writing a non fiction book about how to find ideas which I would probably never have got round to doing otherwise.
The bad news was that as time passed and I still couldn’t write fiction, I began to wonder if I’d ever be able to do it again. This was a major concern as I’m teaching short story courses at both Swanwick and the NAWG Festival in 2012 and lack of sales was making me feel like a bit of a fraud.
It took me a while to work out that I simply didn’t have enough in my emotional bank to spare any for writing. It was all being used up by personal  problems which, sadly, are still affecting me.
In some ways I’m lucky because I can still write decent non–fiction but I miss writing stories. Fiction has always given me so much pleasure. It’s such a wonderful way to escape reality.  
For a really clear explanation of writers block caused by emotional problems, visit this blog. As often happens lately, my thanks to Helen Yendall for pointing this blog out to me.
Having read it, I can now stop worrying that my fiction knack has gone for ever. It will come back, sometime. I just have to be patient.

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