The impotent writer

What is wrong with me!?

I’m a writer that doesn’t want to write. I cannot make the words appear on page and I cannot edit the words I already have. The stories are there, but I cannot rise to perform.  For Christ’s sake, not two years ago I wrote a hundred thousand word novel in two months. And then I went on to other writing projects unfazed! I was a machine. I was churning out story after story, getting idea after idea, editing a novella in a few days and now . . . my brain doesn’t work. I’m jealous of my past self and of other writers. Like how dare you go out and produce books while I’m over here not.

The days pass by, they turn into weeks and then months and now it is the fourth month of my burnout. How much further along could I be if I wasn’t like this? I watch things, but I feel no joy from watching. I buy books that I would otherwise be interested in, but give up after a few chapters or not even begin.

My USB is full of stories. I’ve written so much and yet I take no sense of joy, pride or accomplishment away from it. Its new home is under my desk instead of permanently plugged in my laptop. I could lose it and not care.

I’m supposed to be a writer Goddamnit! Why am I not writing? Why am I so impotent? How long will I not be able to get it up for? WTF is wrong with me? I feel like crying, but I prevent myself from losing control. What am I even doing with all this free time that I now have? I spend it thinking that I’m wasting my time and talent and then get simultaneously pissed off and sad when night falls because what I have I accomplished? What am I doing with my life? What else do I have? How did I lose passion for my passion?

How do I even get over burnout? Do I just wait until my mind gets better? How long do I have to wait? I’ve had plenty of time off work in the four months since I gave up. My sleep is fine, my diet is mostly fine. I’m exercising. I have ample free time for everything in my life. But I’m moody and irritable. I don’t want to do anything else but write because it’s the only thing that I really like doing. And now it’s a thing that does not bring me joy.

I’m a writer who doesn’t read anymore

I spend so much time writing that I never read anymore. The last time I read for pleasure was back in September when I returned to Australia for a few months. I borrowed five books out from the library and only finished one of them. I didn’t care for the others.

Whenever I read now it is to do with either work or for furthering my creative writing. I have a book on my kindle that I bought months ago and still haven’t finished.

It’s a good thing that I read a lot in the past because it compensates for me now. I used to read Goosebumps in 2-3 hours. I read The Passage by Cronin in a single 9-hour marathon. I went through a YA novel a day. But now I only read internet articles, Facebook posts and things relating to the news.

And then there is my writing. They are the only stories I’m reading at the moment. Once the joy of the first few drafts is gone, then it’s all about the work. I look for errors, inconsistencies, problems. Over and over again until I start to burn out on one and move onto another as a means to continue my skillset.

I’ve lost the habit of reading because I need to spend all my time writing.