Writer's drift

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

At the Huffington Post, author Wednesday Martin writes about "writer's drift," the time between projects when writers float along, waiting for the next idea to strike:

Let's be clear: writer's drift is different from writer's block. Writer's block means you can't. Writer's drift means you're not able to, not right now; you have to make a few phone calls and do the crossword puzzle, and maybe meet someone for coffee. Wow, look at the time!

She goes to great lengths to explain that this condition only applies to writers who go from book contract to book contract, not those who also write as journalists, teach, or have some other day job. This makes me think it affects only her and the friends she quotes in the piece. Even though I can't technically suffer from drift by Martin's definition, I'm familiar with the symptoms. The time between even the shortest essays or stories is a guilt-inducing period of self-loathing. But like one of the commenters on the story, I just call it by its more common name, "procrastination."