Discover more from Literary Level Up
You aren't Broken
Not even a little bit
With last week’s post and exercise that, my dear readers, is that as far as the Plot and Structure Seminar goes. If you’ve been here from the beginning, or went back and read the archives when you arrived, you’ve now seen it all.
Some of you, not all of you, now that you’re here, might be feeling like you’re broken. You sit down to try writing and it just. Doesn’t. Go. Somewhere along the line as you were taking this class your brain just stopped doing whatever it used to do that made words happen.
As evidenced by the fact that I’m writing this post to the generic world and not you personally, this is a thing that happens. You aren’t alone, you are not the first to go through this, and this is in no fashion evidence that you’ve failed, are weak, or have any inadequacies whatsoever. It’s very normal for people who go through an intensive workshop or have the way they think about craft radically shifted to have a fallow period after. You know how your phone reboots after having a major software update? That’s your brain right now. You know how sometimes that reboot is just a normal cycle, and sometimes it takes forever? And endlessly optimizes apps you’ve never even used? That is your brain on craft.
If you have a deadline you have to meet while your brain is in this state, whoops. Sorry about that. Take a look at some of the things you produced while doing the exercises and see whether any of them can give you a running start.
If you don’t have a deadline you need to meet? Accept the fallow period for what it is and leave your brain alone to reboot in peace.
Go read neat things. Watch cool movies. Pick up a new hobby or research a lingering interest. Keep your brain engaged and working, but don’t press it about the writing. Then check in with yourself in a month. Do you feel it now? If not, no worries. It’ll come back. Breathe. Think. You’re growing. Give yourself the space for it.
By the same token, if you’re ready to go and having no trouble whatsoever, don’t sweat it. That doesn’t mean you didn’t learn. Common experiences aren’t universal just because they’re normal. It’s just as normal to move along with what you’ve picked up. Or to stop in a year or five and go, “Oooooh, I get that differently now.” You’re fine. I promise.
Stick around. The Literary Level Up isn’t going anywhere. We’re going to have a grab-bag period where we cover whatever random craft or related topic I feel like. Then we’re going to start a new seminar: Settings and World Building. In the meantime, if you have a topic you’d like me to touch on, drop a comment here or let me know elsewhere.