Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dealing with writer’s block

Ok, first let me preface this blog post with a caveat- I don’t believe in writer’s block. I think it’s used by some writers a) to sound more “writerly”, b) gain sympathy, or c) as an excuse to themselves why they aren’t writing. It’s the catch-all phrase to give us a reason NOT to be doing what we need to do.

I lump writer’s block under the “waiting for my muse” phenomenon. You can’t wait for inspiration to strike, you have to keep moving forward- even if it’s complete crap.

For folks who suffer from either writer’s block or “missing muse-itis” I have one suggestion- NaNoWriMo. If you play by their rules, and seriously aim for that 50,000 words in a single work, you’ll find that both of your “disorders” have been cured all within one month ;). You may be producing junk of the highest order- but you’re producing ;).

When I get stuck, and I mean the “OMG where in the heck was I going” stuck, I jump tracks. I’ve found sometimes doing a different scene, one that in some cases never makes it to the book, gets the brain firing on all cylinders. And sometimes jumping ahead gives me insight into the problem piece.

Also, listen to your inner self. Sometimes it’s just brain farting that’s lead you to a quagmire. Especially for us seat of the pants writers it’s often a case of painting oneself into a corner. Sometimes the chapter can be saved.
Sometimes it can’t.

We have to realize that not everything we create will stay in the book. So perhaps the reason you’re stuck is that you’ve gone down a dead-end. The sooner you realize it and cut it loose- the better.

What tips do you use to get the writing moving? Writer’s block may not be real (in my world ;)) but the fact is we all get stuck from time to time. What are your coping mechanisms?

1 comment:

  1. Great topic, and very eye-opening! My problem isn't so much as "missing muse-itis" as it is "missing motivation-itis". I just keep telling myself that the sooner I write, the sooner I'll get published, and the sooner I'll become rich and famous. LOL