For the last two months, I have come up against writer’s block which has been very frustrating. Some will argue that there is no such thing as writer’s block but I disagree. At least I know the etiology of my disease: the well has run dry.
The last four months of last year I entered my novel in two contests. and have been rushing to finish it properly (I have been working on it for the last two years). I just wanted to finish it and move on with my life but to do so I had to use all my resources and imagination and well, but it was finished, the well of ideas and imagination was dry.
Although the idea for the subsequent book germinates in my mind and dominates just about every thought, I continue to stare at the blank page. I am 10,000 words in and I have the ending sorted out. It is the deep chasm of the unfinished middle that haunts me. The image of one of those rickety wooden bridges over a deep canyon comes to mind: one side being the beginning while the other side is the ending and the yawning pit in between represents my unwritten middle.
One thing I do know at this point in my life is that I am happiest when I am writing, so this level of inactivity is unacceptable. To resolve it or to restock the well so to speak, I have started doing a few things that I am confident will help.
Writing Every Day
Just to get into the habit and discipline of writing everyday, regardless of whether it is used or binned. I love the prompts on this website as they give me different things to write about and they make me think. I strongly advise that you try them out. I also have a word goal of 500 words a day, whether it turns out to be crap or not, surely, I should be able to manage that.
My novel is a young adult (YA) paranormal so I do a lot of research; I spend a lot of time reading about supernatural and spiritual elements as well as picking the brains of my teenage nieces to make my YA voice more authentic. The more research I have, the more I will have to draw on.
Usually, I write without a plan. I do make character analyses on all the main characters but I do not do a plot outline just usually a one page summary of what my novel is going to be about. This time however, I am going to try and write up a plot outline or a chapter summary to see if I can stir the muse to action. After all, if I were traveling somewhere, I would not try to get to my destination without a map.
Clearing My Head
For me, I need to be near water to do this. I grew up a mile from Lake Erie and now I live on an island; being near water centers me and gives me an inner peace that is almost spiritual. It never ceases to inspire or motivate me. I will make a trip to Inch Beach within the next week or two and that should help as well.
I read voraciously because I enjoy it and I do not feel that I could be a very effective writer if I did not read.
While I am confident that my plan for combating writer’s block will work, I am open to any suggestions as to how you deal with your writer’s block. Please feel free to leave me a comment with some ideas.