Flounder: A Writing Crisis (Not A Fish)

My inner-writer has been floundering for the past three weeks while I struggle as an individual. Unfortunately this has nothing to do with a flat-bodied fish, and it’s starting to become a bit of an issue:  


: to move in an awkward way with a lot of difficulty and effort
: to be unsure about what to do or say
: to have a lot of problems and difficulties
*(Definition courtesy of http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flounder?show=0&t=1409933890)

I know that the way to get back on track with my writing again is simply to write, but I am not seeing that knowledge through to a point of usefulness. It’s about the same as when I know a giant bowl of ice cream won’t help me fit in my favorite jeans, but I eat it anyway. The problem with situations like these is that they seem to be equal parts comfort and self-harm.

Right now, I am floundering with life, so in order to manage that better, I have given myself a bit of space in my writing world. In return I feel both relieved that I am not pushing myself too hard in the writing arena, while I sort out my personal life

. . . and I feel equally frustrated that I’m not writing and am “falling behind” at something that feels so much more important to me than all those other life dilemmas. 

You would think that if I were going to blog about this, I’d have some answers or wise words of wisdom for you, right about now, but I don’t. I guess that’s not my style. Instead. I want to say that I believe everyone flounders sometimes, so if you’ve been there or are there now, you aren’t alone. 
And here is what is helping me: 
Spending More Time On Social Media 
Yes, you heard me right. Social media is not only a “time suck”. It also helps me when I flounder as a writer (and a person). Here’s why: 
  1. I built an entire world online that revolves around writing on social media. 
  2. It reminds me of who I am now and who I want to be. 
  3. It reminds me of what I’m working for and towards. 
  4. It gives me a break from the pressure of actually writing novels, but I’m still writing, thinking, interacting, creating a platform. 
  5. I’m still growing something that is important to my writing world, even if it’s not specifically a novel. 
  6. It’s fun, relaxing, and low-pressure, which reduces my overall stress. 
  7. When everyone else is talking about writing, publishing, and reading, it makes me want to be in on it. 
  8. It helps support the important and wonderful people in my writing world. 
  9. I have tons of great friends who provide support to me online by: 
    1. Encouraging
    2. Comforting
    3. Supporting
    4. Motivating 
    5. Lecturing
    6. Nagging
    7. Threatening
    8. YELLING
    9. and Rewarding me.

There are times at which I desperately need all of those things. Sometimes I don’t even know I need them until I get them. So in conclusion, while I don’t recommend that you flounder, I imagine you will at some point, be it in writing, life, your career, a relationship, etc. When that time comes, it’s important to remember to brush yourself off, get back up, and keep moving forward.

However, when you’re lying on the ground struggling, don’t be afraid to look for additional support from your social media. Maybe it looks and feels like you’re wasting time, but sometimes, when the whole world is rushing around you, I think it’s okay to take a small step back and catch your breath. If you forget to step forward again, I guarantee you those social media friends will be there to notice and give you a kick in the pants at the appropriate time. 
It’s definitely time, folks. 
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