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

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Writer Wednesday

For all my writer friends out there.  May your writer’s block be this easy to get rid of!!

Writers Block

Oh Calvin.

Writers Block…

“Many artists (myself included) believe that creativity is a mysterious process over which we have no real control. We’re more like antennae that, if attuned, can pick up the creative atmosphere.”  ~ Kevin Kaiser

My antennae is broken…

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

I feel like this guy.  Tons of ideas in my head but I just. can’t. get. them. out!  Words have eluded me.

I used to just write whenever the mood strikes and then quit when the mood left.  I so badly want to finish this first draft of my book but I just sit down and stare at the computer.  The first 30,000 words flowed like water.   The next 20,000 were more sparing.  Now, I feel like my brain is stuck in the mud.  Like my creativity is spinning it’s wheels, hung up on an unseen object.  The most frustrating thing is that the ideas are all there, just not the words.

As I wrote this blog I was on Facebook too.  My Aunt, who also writes, sent me a message and we chatted for a bit.  I mentioned the writers block and she asked me straight up: “Have you been revising as you write, or pure first-drafting?”

I admitted that I’ve been revising as I go (already realizing it was something I needed to change).  My Aunt then said:

Write or Edit

So, I’ll take my brilliant Aunt’s advice and go do some ‘bad writing’ or pure first-drafting.  I’m actually looking forward to it.  The words that flowed at the beginning were pure first-drafting and then I got hung up on revising.  Hope the words flow again.

Do you ever struggle with writers block?  Wanting to write so badly but not being able to?  What do you do when writers block hits?  I’d love to hear from you!  Please share this if you think someone would benefit from reading this!

Sarah