I, of course, am still contemplating this writing thing. And why I'm stuck, and have been stuck for a while now.
I'm not blocked (oo, scary word). What I am is stuck, and I've been stuck since last summer some time. It doesn't stop me from writing; what it does is make the writing a profound effort. It's, you know, hard. And I've been busy for the past three months, and haven't written much of anything (which is not an excuse, but it is a reason, just as it's a reason that I'm drained and uninspired and having a belated second-novel freakout wherein I have to convince myself that really, I do not have to save the world; I just have to write the book.)
Now, admittedly, I've written two books while "stuck," and I happen to think that they're among the better books I've written. (I just finished rereading Carnival, after all, and I was only intermittently convinced that it was a career-ending mistake, which is pretty good for me; usually, I spend the CEM moaning softly to myself and contemplating why I didn't go into nursing, where the worst that could happen is that I could kill somebody with a nosocomial infection transmitted on my plastic fingernails. So when I say "stuck" and not "blocked," I speak honestly.)
It's kind of a plateau thing, where I've gotten to the point where I know so much about craft that it's hard to remember to do it all at once, so the ease of just telling a story is not there. And I need to just tell the story. It's really very straightforward.
I think I'm having a hard time accepting that maybe my learning curve is allowed to level off a bit, or something, and I'm still scrabbling at the glass mountain of craft, and, yanno, it's not like I know everything... but it's not all always about challenging yourself.
Sometimes it's just about telling the story.
I need to quit steering so much, and just drive.
Hal Duncan, in his "Ten Things He's Lerned About Writing" (honest, I wasn't meaning to make a meme, just a funny) gives a whole bunch of advice I don't much like. But hey, it's HIS BRAIN AND HE CAN RUN IT HOW HE LIKES.
Also, he's probably right about a couple of these things. (And because I love irony, I love the irony that most of what I was talking about was about the writer's relationship with the work, and the reader, and the people picking it up are talking about, you know, actually writing and important stuff.)
Then there's Jenn Reese's "Growth Cycle of a Writer," which doesn't click for me, but jaylake liked it. (Confidence? Hah! I personally think that most of these things happen in tandem, if at all, and some of it is just being too damned stubborn to quit.)
Meanwhile, Jeff VanderMeer and his co-author, Evil Monkey, comment on same.
There. Now you know all that I know. Let's have a nap. And some salad.
...not all at once.