This just in: I'm stalling on my current WIP, and I think I know why. Let me count the reasons.
1. Word counts are too much pressure.
When I'm trying to hit a certain amount of words per day, I find myself in a similar situation as to when I set any other kind of goal that seems unattainable: I panic and slowly walk away. I feel like I can't cut out a big section that, as it turns out, is totally irrelevant and let myself be carried in a different direction, because OMFG no WAY can I make up for all of those words that I'll be losing! I know word counts work for many of you--especially the ones doing NaNoWriMo this month--but for me, they make writing feel like work. I don't want my creative outlet to feel like work. I have enough real work already, damn it!
2. Work blows.
3. I'm slightly addicted to technology.
When I'm overworked, I soothe my fried brain with free online games and crap TV. Unfortunately for my WIP, I've got a DV-R filled with trashtastic television. Plus, since I've been keeping a daily word count, writing has started to feel a lot more like a weight loss regimine and a lot less like a relief from everything. So t.v. wins out sometimes. Most of the time. Okay, as of late, almost every time.
4. And here's the real kicker: I'm terrified of my new project.
No, I'm not writing a horror flick, and no, I don't have any tragic deaths planned. But, unlike my previous forrays into the land of YA, my current WIP is strictly realistic fiction. No ghosts or witches in sight. Just one girl with a best friend, a boyfriend, and a morally skewed compass leading her in a less-than-noble direction. My problem? Putting the decisions my MC has already made to writing scares me. It makes me uncomfortable. It gives a voice to the wrong choices my MC has made, and it threatens every relationship in this world that I've spent so much time crafting. Conflict may be the most important part of your story, but it's also a scary mother. Don't let anyone tell you any differently.
Axe the word counts. Bring fun back to my writing. Limit screw-off time. Write. Write. Write. And stop holding in all of the pain, confusion, and mistakes, because these things are what make a story real.
And, for those times when I forget my own advice and end up curled into the fetal position, play Eye of the Tiger and dance around like a boxing superstar until I remember.