Writer's... Meh?

11 years ago | Sarah Suleski (Aspiring Mudpie)

There must be a difference between Writer's Block and Writer's Meh. Block implies, to me, that you don't know where your story should go next or you just can't get the words to flow or the scenes to play out the way they should.

Writer's Meh is when you know what should happen, what needs writing next, how to write it, but you just. can't. seem. to. do. it. I've heard this described as burnout and that the best way to take care of it is to take a break. Thing is, I haven't done any serious work on writing in over a month. I've written a couple (what I think are) rather half assed bonus stories and a very bleh installment of Dreamers. Today I've been trying to work on the next chapter of Queen of Seven and I'm still in this mood where I just don't care.

I mean, I want to update my site. I want to show my readers what happens next. I don't want to write, though, I just want to have written.

I'm not sure what the cure for this is. More time off doesn't seem like a good idea, as the idea behind having a site was to, you know, post stuff to it. Working on a different project doesn't seem to be doing it either, I have two projects to choose from and they both disinterest me.

Chris suggested, not so subtly, (:P) that I should be reading and reviewing. I feel just as "meh" about this though, and don't think that's a good way to go into reviewing. I'm in such a "blah blah who cares" mode that I'm sure any author I pick to victimize with a "blah blah who cares" review would rather I just amused myself by staring at the wall instead.

So, in short, *whine whine bitch moan*. I'm stuck in a rut of utter apathy.

I am a writer, a writer of fictions... and I've written pages upon pages trying to rid you from my bones
(lyric from The Engine Driver by The Decemberists)

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Responses

  1. Sonja Nitschke (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    You could try writing something new -- maybe a kind of genre or style you've never done before.

    And ditto to the apathy in reviewing. I've read like...three stories in the past week but can't think of a thing to say. Bad editor, bad!

    Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand. -- Kurt Vonnegut
  2. Warlocktopus (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Heck, that's why I started my story. I use it to take breaks from my book.

  3. Paulgswanson (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    O indeed, My short stories are my break as well:$ At least thats when I'm not re-writing the stuff I feel is old and not my best. :X <--- x2

  4. Drew Daniels (Moderator)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Well I get over my writer's meh by focusing my attention to other things. Whether they be DnD (yes I'm a nerd) or other projects. But as you said you have other projects that you just aren't caring about...

    Maybe you should just pull a Nanowrimo and start writing something completely random with no idea or clue as to what the hell you're doing. Sometimes getting the attention away from the big things and focusing on something else for a bit is the only way to get through the meh.

    I'm a skill-less teenaged hack with an Angel fanfic... Or so I've been told.
  5. Ryan A. Span (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    D'you know, Sarah, that's the same reason I'm taking a break off Street. I've been trying but very little has come out that was worth keeping.

    My recommendation is, watch or read something new that you might not otherwise have bothered to try. Something good. I often submerge myself in creative material, particularly TV series, and most times I come out with more to think about.

    Regards,
    Ryan

  6. eikasia (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    In my personal experience, writer's meh can be cured by a planned break (nothing indefinite, or you'd NEVER get back into gear) and just channeling my attention to other things. I don't mean writing different work, but trying to find other ways of stimulating my creative muse, so to speak. I watch anime and indie films, play video games, listen to music, read books, watch one of my favorite television shows, maybe research something interesting (like philosophy, or sexuality, or some part of history), watch the news, etc....The levels of success vary, and sometimes I find myself right back into "writer's meh". When that happens, I take my story and give it a hard twist. Change up my original plans. "Writer's meh" can be a good way of recognizing when your story is at a very boring part and the only reason your muddling through it is to get to the exciting bits. If you can see that much, chances are so can your readers, so changing your approach could help too.

  7. allantmichaels (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Maybe it's the transition to fall, but I'm also suffering from a case of writer's MEH. I know where the story is going. But I'm looking at my self-set deadlines as "Oh God, I have to write another chapter" rather than "woo hoo! Chapter time!" like I used to. Maybe it's just all the other stuff going on. Maybe it's the gray skies.

    Not sure. But I'm fighting through the "meh" with all my might.

  8. Sora (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    In my experience (I've had Writer's Meh for a while) I usually just take a break from writing and do something mindless like watch a stupid tv show or read some crappy fanfics or look at some comics. Or I just sleep... alot and hopefully get out of the rut. I'm really not sure what will work for you, but I wish you luck in coming out of it.

  9. shadowphoenix (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    "I mean, I want to update my site. I want to show my readers what happens next. I don't want to write, though, I just want to have written."

    Meh, this is a permanent condition for me. I usually find enough time to write, only to spend it browsing various sites and wasting away the time... The only solution so far that I've found is to actually start writing... after about 1-2 paragraphs I pick up speed and get engaged enough in the story for the writer's meh to have completely vanished. Afterwards I just edit the first paragraphs that suck and ditto. Done.
    Now if only I could always start writing and not browsing...

    Why wait when you can Rebirth in darkness
    My blog story
  10. Stormy (Moderator)

    Posted 11 years ago

    Before I started serialising, all I used to have was writer's meh.

    Work on a short story? Dislike the format.
    Poke around with the unfinished novel? But...but...I don't know what I need from it because I haven't started writing the Agency stuff, and I don't want to have to retcon!
    Then start writing Agency stuff, dumbass! I can't...I have TEH MEH!

    >_>

    Now that I'm serialising, I never get meh. I rarely get block either. What I usually get is "ZOMG RL IS TOO BUSY!" or brain tired.

    If I get blocked on a chapter, I try and make it interesting to write. Whether it's the inclusion of a secondary character I like to write, or a place that is by nature interesting (one can never be bored when writing about Madchester). (Hell, because of this technique, I now have two new tertiary characters I'm in love with, and they're only in three chapters...and I won't be able to use them again for a while).

    Just take a break, play a game, or a read a book, you'll get over it. :)

  11. MeiLin Miranda (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    It's a Mercury retrograde, kids! :) :)

    Very often what breaks me out of "meh" is having my friend read what I've got, or going for a walk with Sir to get coffee, or watching a documentary, or getting away from the damn box entirely for a few hours. I rarely do it; I usually sit here drooling instead. But when I do, it's a good thing.

    "An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom"
    http://www.meilinmiranda.com/
  12. NiSp (Member)

    Posted 11 years ago

    i got stuck on writer's meh for almost 5 years. am so glad to have found a name for it at last! we're all different and each will respond better to something different.

    for me, it wasn't about 'getting over it', but the first thing i had to do was to acknowledge that it was truly ok to have the meh. i was entitled to it and it was my right. it was a job i had to do and the quicker i got it done, the quicker i could get on with other aspects of my job (just pity it took 5 yrs to realise this, but i can be rather slow sometimes). so what does one do to accomplish a successful meh?

    just like any other job: set a realistic target / goal and then get there. once you're there, mission accomplished. goals could range from walking 10km every day for a week to not missing a single episode of oprah over the same period - including reruns on every channel. it could be finishing a sample of every single chocolate bar from the local supermarket in a single sitting or scrubbing the paint off one side of the house by hand. or doing any of the other suggested actions listed in posts before this...

    a hundred tasks and a challenging technical job later, i eventually started writing out of sheer boredom and fell in love all over again. next time, i think i'll go with the walking for a week thing. it's quicker and generally easy on the hips...

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