Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Writer's Block Again


Writer's block is here. It is belligerently and heavily and annoyingly here (gesturing to brain area). I'm trying to work on book #2 and I have no words to put into it. I tried to jolt my mind into action by adding ridiculous characters and some equally ridiculous situations but it didn't work. All these characters are piling up inside of these situations, doing absolutely nothing. It's like someone threw a Halloween party in a broom closet and then turned off the lights and shut the door and everyone's just standing there, feeling dumb in their stupid costumes, blinking a lot.

So I left the party and came here, to my neglected blog.

Book #2 is not due to my publisher until February. Which means, sometimes I think to myself, that I have lots of time.  I have eight months.

And then I think, EIGHT MONTHS??! I CAN'T WRITE AND PROPERLY EDIT A BOOK IN EIGHT MONTHS ALL MY HAIR IS GOING TO FALL OUT.

Not to mention, book #1 is still not finished going through edits (I know! I know. Editing is a whole thiiiing). So I don't have eight actual months of book #2 writing time. I have about six weeks of book #1 editing time, and a week or two of freelance writing time, and need to allow a month or two for "breathing time" (the period after you finish writing a book where you don't look at it or think about it before you jump into editing it). Plus, there are, you know, kids to raise and a husband in his busy season at work and a house to clean and sleep to be had and maybe a social life (negotiable). All that on the table, and I feel like I'm looking at a solid minus five minutes to write this thing.

Yet here I am, blogging, while my ridiculous characters sit in a darkened closet and blink a lot.

But the thing about writer's block is that you can't just decide you don't have it anymore. It's like a dragon, you know? If you have a dragon, you can't just decide you don't have a dragon; you have to conquer it.

...or wait until it wanders away to torture someone else. Which is, generally, my method of dealing with both writer's block and anything that breathes fire.

However, if anyone has a good tip on how to speed this particular proverbial dragon on its way, I would love to hear it.

7 comments:

  1. When I get stuck on something, I usually take a break or work on something else for a while, but I don't have a book deadline. Right now, I'm spending most of my creative energy on baking not writing, so if you think tarts would help, let me know and I'll make you some.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Writer's block is as good an excuse as any for tarts... :D

      Delete
  2. So, according to my dad (who was - for a while - a screenwriters' therapist), the trick is to sit down and write any old crap, knowing full well that it's crap. It gives you a word count (to take the stress off), gives you something to hack to pieces when you come back to it later, and gets you into the swing of putting down words again. As a non-novelist, I've no idea whether or not this works, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is good advice. Also, I bet that was a super interesting job.

      Delete
  3. I'm not one to talk about how to get over writer's block, because I get INTENSE bouts of it. But, if I'm stuck on a scene, or plotting, or what not, it's amazing the ideas that POP into my head when I'm doing the most banal things, like showering, or loading the dishwasher. It's as though the second I stop focusing on the story, my head starts working again.

    I'm here if you want to run any ideas by me, if that helps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is true. I was probably forcing it too hard. How do you write on a deadline without forcing it, is the question. Sigh. But you're right...plus I do need to load the dishwasher...

      Delete
  4. I also suspect that Barclay's busy work time may have a little something to do with your stress levels and once you're back to the rest-of-the-year routine you might be able to get in the zone easier :)

    ReplyDelete

Say anything you want. It doesn't even have to be relevant.