I'm in a slump. I recognize it, I know I'll surpass it, but right now it's the wet blanket that's weighing me down when all I want to do is run. I've built a world and painted it with 45,000 words so far, but now I'm at a fork...nay, a multitudinous, hydra-headed, writhing-mass-of-parallel-universes decision tree that is waiting for me to pick...one...way. My characters are frozen in place, staring...too polite to outright scream at me (for now), but still heaving these great, gusty sighs of impatience. And I'm all like "take five, you guys", but that doesn't work because they're not tired. They're antsy, and they have nothing to do. And that's on me.
That's the rub, right there. Any frustration, any irk or poke or irritation that authors feel about the work they do...it can never be tied to anybody or anything else than themselves. I suppose that's where all the artsy self-loathing comes from. It's the other side of one of the things that I really love about doing this...the autonomy. It's just me...through and through. Nobody else. So sometimes, when you're looking around for help, that thorny loneliness that you forgot existed can be a painful thing to reacquaint yourself with.
Side note...I've always had this loner outlook when it comes to accomplishing things, which has given gifts to me just as it has robbed me of them. It's rewarding, because when I've broken down walls that threaten to box me in, I know I did it, under my own power, and that charges me up. Of course, in those moments where the tools I possess fall short of piercing the tougher aspects of my endeavors, it makes me stubbornly reluctant to ask for help, which limits me.
Anyway...yeah, yeah. Whine whine. It's bootstrap time. Nothing really great ever came to anyone without a hefty price tag attached to it. I'll pay the toll, ask the nice lady in the booth if she can hold my wet blanket for me, and zip away until the next go-around. Come on, Derek...wake up, and let's get this thing Willie-emandeffing-Nelson on the road again. Yee haw, whip crack, spur-to-flank, light up that bottle rocket, and punch it, Chewie.
Once more into the breach!
Back to work. Before these characters go full mutiny and find a nice, moldy place in the brig to stick me.