Friday, October 10, 2014

Writer's Block

I often get emails from writers looking for assistance or information regarding either the business or craft of writing, and it's always great to connect and help a fellow writer out.

So I thought that, instead of just responding, I'd take some info from my response and share it here in the hopes that it might be useful to other writers.

This morning's query was about writer's block.

Q: How do you deal with writer's block?

That can be a tough one. I will often jokingly say that if you don't believe in writer's block, it won't believe in you. (ie, don't GIVE it the power over you) - however, that answer often frustrates an author who has already been over-powered and is stuck in their writing.

One technique I use stems from the thought that actually writing is the best cure for writer's block.  There was a quote I remember reading years ago, likely in the pages of Writer's Digest magazine, and it is that writing begets writing.

So if I'm stuck on a scene or particular piece of writing, instead of staying stuck where the writing and the muse seem to have left and abandoned me, I go ahead and write something else - either another piece/story or a different part of the same story by SKIPPING the spot I'm stuck.

I do it with the following two thoughts:

1) Either the writing itself will get me enough back into the flow that, once I'm "running" again with word flow, I can return back to that stuck part and just motor through it. (Part of that "writing begets writing" mantra I mentioned earlier)

2) Perhaps there was something ABOUT that piece I got stuck on that was the culprit - something wrong about it that didn't ring true - which might mean going back and re-doing it a slightly different way - (ie, your tires get stuck in a rut when driving down a dirt road and it has taken you into a 'dead end' spot preventing you from continuing on, and you can't get your tires out of the rut. So, you back up, alter the path slightly and avoid the rut and try a slightly different way to get where you were going)

In any case, here's hoping that these thoughts on writers block help you overcome it should the little monster show itself in your writing life.

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