Writer’s Block – The Annoying ‘Thing’ That Keeps Me From Writing
Over the years, I’ve struggled to tell myself that writer’s block doesn’t exist. It’s just a lame excuse that keeps me and other writers from doing what we do (or er…don’t do) best. My philosophy behind this is, if I don’t believe it exists, then it won’t be an issue for me.
And that worked beautifully…
…up until I made it past the halfway point of my current work-in-progress (WIP).
There was so much tension between the characters. It started with just two characters. Then it led to three. And now it’s all four of my main characters.
It was getting hard to focus. When it’s a challenge to determine how a character would react (i.e., facial expression, hand movements/gestures, internal/physiological reactions, etc.), it’s easy to get bogged down. When I write emotionally charged scenes, I have to visualize it. I have to get inside the character’s head and see and feel what he sees and feels. If I’m having an ‘off’ day, it’s almost impossible to get into the writing zone.
But not writing doesn’t work for me. So, I have to figure out a way around it or through it.
Brainstorming helps me think about writing. It gets me thinking of story ideas and character personalities. It helps me focus on something other than whatever it is I’m dwelling on or stressing out about.
When I’m struggling with the writing or when I’m not feeling inspired, I’ll spend some time brainstorming. I’ll ask myself questions like, “what happens next?” or “what other obstacles or conflicts do my characters face?”
If brainstorming for that WIP doesn’t work, I’ll switch to another writing project to allow time for my muse to work through details of the first story. I have multiple projects going at once, so if I’m stuck on one, I’ll try brainstorming another. And sometimes I work on brand new ideas.
Most of the time, I find a few days is all I need to get back to my main project.