Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Writer's Block

I had an interesting conversation with someone a few weeks ago about writer’s block. It’s something we’ve all heard of, that moment when the writer loses all of their juice, has nothing else to say, no more words pouring onto the paper (or keyboard.)

He suggested that it’s all in our head. It’s a way of procrastinating the inevitable. As writers, we’re looking at the present, but we also focus quite a bit on the future. After I finish my first draft, then I have to edit. After I edit, then I have to query. Once I query… well, I haven’t gotten there yet.

Maybe he’s right. I haven’t had any serious forms of writer’s block. I have found that if I make sure that there’s always a next project, then I don’t feel so stuck on this one. Currently, I’m working on a major rewrite for two novels, I’m working on the prewriting on one for November, and I’m working on critiques for another. If I get tired of editing, I write. If I get tired of writing, I prewrite. If I get tired of all of those, I write blog posts. J

Bouncing around keeps things interesting. I think I also know when to let a project go. It hasn’t happened recently, but I do have two partially finished novels on my shelf. I’m not sure that I’ll ever return to them, but they got me to where I needed to go.

Writer’s block is probably a trick of the mind. I love writing. I do it for myself, I enjoy the characters, and I enjoy the stories. The only time I really run into it is when I work on queries. Now those I can drag my feet in for weeks.

So maybe it’s true. Writer’s block is a form of avoiding what we don’t want to do, whether it’s writing, editing, writing queries, even social media. We each have our strengths. It takes pushing through the weaknesses that gets us even farther.

What do you think? What causes writer’s block?