31 Days: Day 8 ~ The one on writers block

Writers block.  When I was writing my book, I was pretty sure that I was facing the worst case of writers block EVER.  I would write a sentence and then delete it.  As I mentioned in day 5, my characters were silent.  It wasn’t even like they just didn’t like the direction I was going, they were giving me the cold shoulder.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/drewcoffman/4815205740/

Welcome to day 8!  If you’re just joining me, please take a peek at days 1-7 HERE!  I’ve posted quite a few clips of my book as well as some other tips on writing.

Part way through my writing, the words vanished.  Like I was walking through a desert looking for words like one looks for water.  Several things were instrumental as I dealt with this desolate time.  

First of all, giving myself the permission to be frustrated and not feel like I just HAD to get something on paper on that story.  I found it extra frustrating to just write a scene in my book that I knew wasn’t good enough – wasn’t going to hack it.  Plus, my characters got grumpy when I did that.  The last thing I needed at this point was to irritate my characters.  Especially Blaze… he get’s vindictive.

So, if I needed to be creative but my characters weren’t cooperating, I would work on another story.  I always have a few in the works.  Mostly they will never see the light of day, but they give me somewhere to vent my words if I need to just write.

I was expressing my frustration to my writer aunt and she said something that helped profoundly (and so I made a photo with it).

Write or Edit

I realized that what she said was true.  I was trying to edit as I went.  I was confusing myself in my goal.  My goal, first of all, needed to be to get the story out.  Editing would come later.  I would second guess myself and staunch the flow of the words.  It was not helpful at all.

Kevin Kaiser wrote about writers block too and I still read it when I’m feeling stuck.

A lot of it is fear.  We fear that we will write the wrong thing, that the words won’t come out the way we want.  Write the words.  Write the scenes.  My friend Shan said that her favourite part about writing is the editing process.  (I think she may be crazy!)  She loves hacking at her stuff.  That’s the joy of editing.  Anything that you write can be changed, but for now… pure first draft.

Try it.  There’s something really freeing in pure first-drafting.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t flow as well as you want it to.  Don’t worry that the wording isn’t quite right.  Don’t worry about all the little, tiny details.  Just write what comes.  The machete can come out later and you can hack at the jungle of words then.

Above all, just don’t quit!  That story wants out and you want to write it.  Push through the tough times!  You can do it!

Have you ever faced ‘writers block’?  What did you find helpful?  Let’s help each other! 🙂

~Sarah

31 days redone small

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “31 Days: Day 8 ~ The one on writers block

  1. […] Day 8: The One on Writers Block […]

  2. griperang says:

    Sounds like a very good idea to write the story and not worry about the edits until later otherwise you would get caught up in trying to make it perfect. I will have to remember that.

  3. Angi says:

    Writer’s block. UGH! Sarah, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I play around with writing just for fun, and when I hit a dead end, I just let it sit for awhile. Sometimes you just have to get away from it so that the creative juices can start to flow again. And when that happens, there are times it comes faster than I can type. I liked your idea of working on another story during that time. Good point. I’ll have to remember that. 🙂

    • sarahssundry says:

      Absolutely, sometimes you just need space. I had itchy writing fingers. I had to get something out. I felt creative though my book was stalled. Working on other things helped me keep my creativity flowing. 🙂

  4. Tanya M. says:

    Oh, friend! It’s like I needed to read those very words at this moment as I’m about to sit down and write. It’s funny how I sort of knew that to be true all along, but needed to hear it in a matter-of-fact way like you’ve done here. And isn’t that the whole premise behind FMF writing? And I STILL keep trying to edit as I go, even then! I’ve really gotta make it a point to just get the words out and hack later. Thanks for this post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s