I’m no expert but I’ve read, heard, and now I’ve seen for myself that every writer experiences the horrible, dreaded – dare I say it – writer’s block. I think of it much like “hitting the wall” when running a marathon. You get to mile 20 and your legs, your body in general, doesn’t want to run anymore. Writer’s block is like that too, except in this case it’s your brain that hits a creative wall, and then the words, sentences, ideas, they just don’t want to come. You sit and stare out the window, thinking, thinking, thinking. You type a few words and read them. They sound dumber than dumb, so you erase them and you try another sentence. Geez, that one is even worse, so you stare some more at the hated, blinking cursor. You get up to get a drink of water, you feed the dogs, you take out the trash, you think about what to have for dinner, and all the while you’re still at your computer (well at least in your head) trying to work out how to get the next sentence, paragraph, and chapter written. I’ve run into this so many times, just on this first book, and here is what I have found works EVERY single time – at least for me. I’ve got four different things listed that helped:
1) Turns out this one is right on – if you walk away – even for a few minutes – this helps. I have intentionally got up from my desk because I was stuck. I didn’t try and think about the stuck area necessarily, I just walked away. Lo and behold, an idea – sometimes more than one – popped in my head and I was back upstairs in a flash typing away.
2) Get an objective opinion. I’ve talked about the area I can’t get solved to my confidante – my husband – and even though he’s not a reader, he still is a great problem solver – especially when it comes to the dynamics between people and how someone would react. He’s helped me put into perspective what should or shouldn’t happen more times than once and helped to make the scene more realistic.
3) I go for a run. I’ve read and heard that any type of exercise helps to literally “clean out the cobwebs.” Without getting too scientific, there are studies that have shown the cognitive function of the brain improves after exercise. And I am here to attest to the fact that I’ve not only resolved areas I was having a bout of writer’s block, I’ve also thought of new ideas and ways to write about some other part while out on a run. Now, if I could just remember to carry something to write those great ideas down with…
4) This last one I can’t explain. Have a beer. Yes, I admit it, I have committed drinking and writing, and yes I did read it the next day, and it was pretty darn good if I do say so myself! I know I can get a bit keyed up when I’m writing, so maybe it’s a relaxation thing and that loosens up the brain waves so they can flow nice and easy once again. Whatever it is, it works for me.
On a different note – the revision is coming along fine. I re-submitted 88 pages (grew to 88 from the first 55) and the feedback on this revision… “This is much better.” I am now up to page 120 and need to re-work these some more. I anticipate sending this next set around the first to mid July. Here’s to all the revisions still to come and positive vibes from the Editor!