Beating Writer’s Block
Posted by Sue
For the last couple of months, I’ve been having trouble, big time, with #amnotwriting. What shall we call it? Procrastination? Writer’s Block? Aren’t they the same thing?
My worst enemy has to be procrastination/writer’s block. Even when I have a deadline, I can always find something to do to keep me from doing what I ought to do. (Whew! Trying saying that last sentence fast, five times in a row.)
Instead of writing on my novel that needs to be done ASAP, I find other things to do. My desktop really needs cleaning. These magazines need to be organized and put away. My fingernails are too long; I must clip them. This article is so interesting. I need to cut it out and file it in my idea file. I need to work on the treadmill. Twitter is calling, and I am supposed to be on social media to build a platform, aren’t I? The butt in chair approach doesn’t work when I work on a computer and the internet is only a click away. Suddenly I look up and see two hours have gone by. Writing time is gone.
Truly, procrastination had me in its evil clutches.
I looked through my writing material files and found many ideas for curing Writer’s Block. Most of them involved not writing, which is what I was already doing–so how does that help? I did see three that looked promising. 1.Reward yourself. Promise yourself something special when you finish your project or x amount of pages. 2.Read over your notes before you go to sleep and let your unconscious (muse) work. 3.Write something, anything, but just write during your writing time.
But what is procrastination/writer’s block really about? Why am I (Why are you?) putting it ( whatever IT is) off? Really. Why am I not writing? I want to write, don’t I? Yes I do, just not on this book. I want to be writing my next book. And why is that? Well, if I don’t finish the book, then there’s no chance of it being rejected. If I don’t write on a daily basis, I can use the excuse that I don’t have the time because I am so busy. If I don’t finish the book, I won’t have to write a suspenseful ending. If I don’t finish the book, then it can’t be compared unfavorably to my first book. If I don’t finish the book, I won’t have to promote it. (I HATE self-promotion.) So, I must be playing both “safe” and “perfect.” They are like little devils sitting on my shoulder whispering dismal prospects.
Safe–if I don’t finish the book, then I don’t have to face rejection or self-promotion. Perfect–if I don’t finish the book, then I don’t have to face not having a perfect book.
It all boils down to one thing: Am I a writer or not?
If I am a writer, then I write. So, I force myself to open up my WIP document and read over the last few pages to get back into the flow. I start writing. I don’t know where I’m going with this. The first ending I had doesn’t work anymore, but from previous experience, I know it will come if I keep on writing. Hmm. I get a flash of what could happen next and keep on writing. Something I never even thought about pops into my mind. Finally my block is broken.
I know my “safe” and “perfect” devils are not gone. They are just waiting for the right time to jump back on my shoulder, but now I am ready for them. Writer’s Block be gone!
About SueFrom the time, as a young girl, when Sue read the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, she was hooked on fantasy. She loves to read fiction and write within many genres, but she always winds up going back to fantasy. For years she has had fantasy stories spinning around in her head and now that she is retired from many years of teaching, she is putting those stories into book form. She has many interests, including quilting and playing the mountain dulcimer, but writing is the most satisfying of all. Sue lives in the great state of Maine with her husband of 38 years. She has been a factory worker, a waitress, a librarian, and a teacher. Her biggest job was being a mother and she has three grown children. Now that she is a grandmother, she is enjoying that role immensely.
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