First blog of 2016 and I’m rolling out the big guns. This “issue” has affected virtually every writer who has ever existed at some point in their writing experience. It’s upsetting, distressing and can leave you in a rut for months if not years.
Do I have a solution?
Not directly, BUT, I would like to offer a different perspective. Thinking about it a different way has helped me to get through these moments a lot quicker.
The majority of time wasted in writing involves us making a decision. I came to a full stop the other day when I had to name a new character. I wasted over an hour trawling through my facebook friends names and baby names and name generator sites until I got the answer. That’s a whole bunch of time wasted on one small issue. It would have been easier to stick a placeholder in and keep on writing.
Bigger decisions need a different approach. Consider you have put character X and Z into situation A and we want to move them to situation B. A and B might be a universe apart physically and/or conceptually, so the journey between the two needs to be seamless. The trouble comes when we don’t know how it happens. So we sit and stare at the screen and then go waste time on social media whining about writers block. None of which is going to help you fix the problem.
If you’re a plotter, the answer is easy, just keep writing down options and ideas until you find the one that fits best and then go write it.
For me, the only way I get out of this is by forcing myself to write. I’m not much of a plotter. I’ll make vague notes about certain key points that I want to hit over the course of a book, but the rest is pure flow. The solution is virtually the same, stop worrying about the how and just start writing. If the first thing you try doesn’t work then don’t be afraid to delete and start over. Frustrating as it may be, it’s part of the process, a necessary evil.
Once you know WHAT you’re writing, the block will pass.