Saturday, April 11, 2015

Writer's Block

I'm pretty good about churning out a chapter a week of new writing. That's when I have a work in progress I'm drafting. Nothing to write home about in the speed department. I don't do thousands of pages a day or get a lot of scenes done in a month. A solid four chapters that are clean and on point as far as the plot, stakes, and characters in a month is my goal. But I do it like clockwork.

Until the day when I don't.

Now I tend to also take breaks at times, especially when I hosting a contest or if there is something keeping me busy at home. Returning to work in August is always a killer of my writing until my schedule slows down. Going on vacation provides a nice break. I like to skip a week of writing every once in a while.

I'm not talking about just being lazy once in awhile. 

It's the problem when you want to write, but something is stopping you. When nothing big is happening behind the scenes to occupy my mind, and I still can't get motivated, I know there's a problem.

Some writers get down about their work. Too many rejections, whether it be for query letters or from editors. Or maybe CP critiques make you lose your desire to create new content. That can stop me for a day or two. Though I do lose confidence in my writing, it usually wears off fairly quickly, so I can manage my chapter a week. I remind myself that I like the story even if no one else might.

People sometimes lose interest in their work in progress and want to move on to something else. That's not me either. I'm set that once I start something, I keep working on it until it's finished. Call me stubborn that way. I like to plow straight through from beginning to end.  

No. When I have trouble sitting down to write on a project, it's a sign that something is wrong. Not with me (for a change), but with what I wrote. A tiny voice is nagging in my inner ear saying don't add to this project, something isn't working. A correction has to be done to a scene, or a chapter, or to the direction it's taking. What I wrote is tugging a place deep inside my gut and won't let me continue until a fix is made.

Writer's block for me is a message from my gut, letting me know the writing is off track. It can take a few days to catch. It can take longer to figure out the problem and fix. But it's a big whoa, slow down, and think about this sign from my instinct.

So how about you? Is writer's block a warning or a loss of confidence? How do you get past it?


  1. Writer's block for me is usually a sign that I need to go out and ex cerise, go for a run instead of sitting for more hours. Always gives me new ideas

  2. I agree! When I start a new story but it's not working, I know it's not my writing or the premise but something else. I'll let new stories sit on my laptop for a time, days or months and go back with fresh eyes. What is about it that made me start writing it in the first place? What did I want to say about the character/plot? Since I'm a pantser I may have to go back and tweak the story a couple of times and sometimes I've lost interest in the storyline itself and then I know it has to go back to the confines of the laptop. But sometimes the story takes on a new spin and I'm excited to jump on the roller coaster of writing again.