Writer’s Withdrawal Is a Thing (An Ugly Thing)


I’m in a void, and it ain’t pretty. No, not the Star Trek kind of black hole, but one that induces the same kind of trepidation—almost, dare I say, panic? There is nothingness. There is blackness. There is the fear of the unknown or, rather, the fear that the hollow nothingness is endless, permanent.

In other words, I’m a writer without a WIP (work in progress).


It’s true. And it feels totally weird. Writers without a WIP are nothing—nothing, I tell you! We are the void!

Ahem. Sorry. The panic really started to take hold for a minute there.

But honestly, writers without a project are merely unwashed, pajama-clad, muzzy-headed, bleary-eyed individuals poking at their toes with their pencils and bothering the cat way too much when all said cat wants to do is sleep.

We wander about the house actually considering finishing projects we started months ago. Or even (gasp) starting new projects and finishing those. Or (double gasp, clutch heart) doing some housecleaning!

See? I told you it was bad.

Send cookies. (Oh yeah—we snack too much, too.)


As for me…I’m trying not to sink into the blackness. I continue to drink buckets of coffee, although I have no reason to stimulate my brain, so I’m just feeding my addiction out of habit. I have done some housecleaning, but nowhere near the amount it’ll take to make the house respectable (let’s not get crazy, here). I have already planted this years’ vegetable garden, when normally I stick the plants in the dirt in June and hope for some sort of yield in September or October if I’m lucky.

I keep thinking I have some writing to do, or maybe some editing. Yes, I even miss editing! But the proofs for my fifth romantic comedy were completed long ago, and the book is ready for publication in August.

My other rom-coms have been out there for ages—nothing new on that front. Except two of them are on sale this month. So when I get really bored, I make advertising graphics to remind people they’re going cheap for a limited time. It’s the writer’s equivalent of knitting hats for the cat—nobody ever sees them, but it keeps me busy.

Other than that…there is nothing. Just the void.


All is not lost. however. My agent and I are planning my sixth book. In fact, we’re mulling over two ideas, trying to decide which one to develop. So when I get really restless, instead of getting into political arguments on Facebook (I’m not that desperate), I make notes—snippets of dialogue, character traits, ideas for scenes and plot points. It makes me feel a little better, but (sigh) it’s not the same. I need to be eyeballs-deep in tens of thousands of words! Stat!


In the meantime…I guess I’ll stare at my seedlings, see if I can catch them growing. Or write blog posts.

Send cookies. Or Adderall. Whatevs.

And check out the other writers participating in Julie Valerie’s Hump Day Blog Hop, last Wednesday of every month!


12 responses »

  1. I love the comparison of marketing efforts to knitting hats for cats. I tend to use the analogy of changing lucky hats for a sports fan. You only notice when it does work. Except in the case of a sports team, you get the results much sooner.

  2. I am very impressed that you turned your lack of WIP to your advantage in the garden! You deserve a cookie for that.

  3. I am a complete spaz when I don’t have a WIP. For that one day, I’m a really good, organized parent. I also watch a lot of Netflix and worry I’ll never have another idea again. It’s a horrible day of the year. 😉

  4. Mulling around two ideas for book #6?! That’s fabulous. Would love to be in your shoes. Question: Have you tried ice cream with your cookies? Maybe the ideas aren’t coming because you’re JUST eating cookies. Try a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream WITH your cookies. That should cure you in seconds flat. It’s that simple. Like snapping your fingers and then poof! all is well with the world. Wait. Stop. What am I TALKING ABOUT?! Don’t do vanilla bean. Do chocolate. Duh. Although, it depends on what kind of cookies you’re eating…

    • Oh, I’ve got a million ideas—it’s making them a 300-page reality that’s the challenge! I like the way you think regarding snackage, Julie. I may have to supplement the cookies with some ice cream for sure. How about the best of both worlds—chocolate chip ice cream? I have a weakness for the kind with the flaked chocolate (in vanilla—I’m not a fan of mint).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s