I have a guest on my blog today – Pixie Lynn Whitfield, author of DARKNESS COMES THIS WAY. She’s here to talk about what she does to overcome writer’s block! We all need that, right?
Thanks for being here, Pixie (by the way I love that name!). You have the floor. :-)
There’s a pesky, horrible condition that overcomes a writer from time to time. Our minds freeze up. Our characters refuse to interact with us. Our worlds go hazy. What do we call it? Writer’s block.
Not every writer believes in this awful course of events, of course, but I do. I’ve had first-hand experience with it through the years and it’s certainly not pleasant. I struggled immensely during days of writer’s block, even breaking down into tears when I couldn’t get the words to function from my brain onto paper or the screen. I almost didn’t finish my novel Darkness Comes This Way because of it. But I pulled through thankfully after some exercises and forceful determination.
So what does one do when they start to experience the symptoms of this annoying writer’s dilemma? I’m happy to share a few tips and tricks and hope that in the long run, they can help if you ever need them.
- First and foremost, you have to hold on to your willpower and drive to write. If you start having any doubts or walk around in a daze of having the I-cant’s, then you will definitely lose sight of your project(s).
- Write anything. Just do it. So what if the sentence might not be structured right or not flow well at the time. So what if it’s falling away from the plot you originally intended. Just write what you can, as much as you can. You can edit later. The more you write, the more you keep the creative juices flowing, and soon you’ll have the ideas coming back if they’re a little stuck. Trust me, it works.
- Carry a small notebook and pen with you everywhere you go. Sounds funny, right? I do this though because I get ideas in the oddest places. At the grocery store or at the bowling alley. If I didn’t have my notebook with me, I wouldn’t have a way to jot them down. Then I’d forget them before I could get home. The notebook helps. A lot. It’s great when a particular sentence or scene strikes you and you need to write it fast. Or when new plot ideas hit.
- Forget titles. Forget them. I’m serious. Titles are the least of your worries. Do not spend hours of your writing time trying to figure out the “next awesome title” of your work when you’re only halfway through. I’ve learned from my own past mistakes on this one. I used to worry about them too until I realized how much time I was wasting, and often how much I was causing myself to get stuck in the writing process because of it. A title should come naturally to you. Some writers might even wait until they’re finished and about to edit before titling–so don’t fret on them.
- And last but certainly not least: reserve writing time and make it happen no matter what with a specific goal. For example, I reserve my writing time to be in the evening hours every night, and my specific goal is to write at the very least about 500 words a day. If I do more than that, it’s great. If not, then I know I still at least met my daily goal.
Every little bit helps really. Every writer has their own process. But we all share the same passion of creating our characters and crafting our worlds, right?
Hope this post helps at least a little for someone!
Thank you, Ms. Redmerski, for the great opportunity to be a guest on your blog today!