There comes a point when you’re writing that you just stop writing. Just like that, you stop. It’s not the characters or the story, this time. It’s not a lack of interest. It’s the inability to write. Most of us know this as writers block.
Some claim that you just have to push and force past it, to just write. Others claim it doesn’t even exist. But, I’m not here to talk about it’s existence or how to break it. I’m actually going to tell you to give it a hug and invite it in for tea.
Stop attacking writer’s block, and start inviting it in. Yeah, I get it, you’re probably saying, “What the actual crap, Faith?”
You know what I’m going to say in response? “You can’t force writing.”
This is something I had to learn the hard way after finishing Puppet. I couldn’t just force Adams and Williams along. I couldn’t just get to where I wanted to go. Because I worked myself dead on writing. Legit, wrote over thirty thousand words in a little under a week and a half, only to go and sign up for forty thousand for camp nanowrimo. I worked myself dry, and was left with jelly for a wrist afterwards. It threw me into a creative slump, and I fought with every mental strength I had to get past it. Instead, it left me tired and defeated not only in my writing, but with my art.
Forcing yourself out of a block isn’t going to help. You need to turn away from the writing, the art, and go out somewhere, go watch a movie, listen to music. Think a story, but don’t write it. Let it get your creative flow back without putting it to work. Writing is a mental process, not a physical quick-and-done job. You need to let the paint dry before you can do a new coat. Try and paint over that coat before it’s dry, and you’ll smear it. The same goes for your story. If you keep attacking it, keep working at it without giving yourself a break, you’ll burn out. So, when you make these goals to get words written, when you make that schedule, make sure you leave a few days blank, maybe put a smiley face on em. Give yourself a break, and you’ll be less likely to lose that flow.
So back to where I told you to hug writer’s block. If you do get the dreaded writer’s block, as if it is an aunt that comes into town that just makes you want to dye your hair blue and go by “Tim Kibbles” for the rest of your life, rather than viewing it as the weird aunt, look at it as if it’s a great excuse to go and have a three day sleepover at your best friend’s house. Let writer’s block make itself at home and go do something, let the paint dry. You’ll come back with a fresher, ready to go mind.
I got a question for you, and your answers would be really helpful for my next post: What do you like in a character?