Writer’s block. The bane of every writer everywhere. This horrible phenomenon can strike at any moment, stealing the momentum you’ve gained in one fell swoop. It’s agonizing. It’s terrible. It’s downright crippling. It’s just plain rude.
It’s more than just the muse abandoning you and leaving you to wallow in your own sorrows. It’s a legitimate degeneration of the brain. Words will not come. Ideas will not surface. The simple task of putting pen to paper is not unlike the labors of Hercules. I’m pretty sure it’s worse.
It can reduce the once self-confidant writer to a sobbing puddle of tears on the floor. I’ve had this feeling as of late, and I can tell you firsthand that it’s not a pretty sight. I’m usually easygoing, up for a bit of witty banter with my Facebook peeps, throwing around some happiness or a laugh wherever I go. However, with the writer’s block riding shotgun on my daily life, I may or may not have turned into a snappish and snarky version of myself that can send even the most even-tempered of folks running for the hills.
Right now, as I’m typing this post, the blinking of this mothereffing cursor mocks me. I feel it in my bones. I’m in the middle of finishing a novel, and I’m behind schedule. So behind, I’ve missed my deadline. And that just sucks. I’ve never missed a deadline before. NEVER. And it’s all because I can’t get words out. I have an outline, so I know exactly where this story is going. But the twenty-six letters I need to rearrange to get something down that someone somewhere might want to read one day won’t come together and form cogent thought. It’s just random words on the screen. I’ve even resorted to the old faithful combination of a good pen and spiral notebook. Yep, still just word vomit.
So, what to do? The more I think about my block, the worse it gets, which is terrible for everyone involved. But getting rid of the block is a process, much like working through any difficulty. First, there’s Denial.
|No, really, everything's fine. This is not writer's block. It's not.|
Second is Anger.
|I NEED TO WRITE! I HAVE A DEADLINE!|
Next comes Bargaining.
|Lord, if you do me this solid, I will never write another explicit sex scene. I promise.|
Then everyone’s favorite: Depression.
|If I can't write, I have nothing. My life is over.|
Finally, we get Acceptance.
|This too shall pass. It's okay, I got this.|
Writer’s block happens to the best of us, and understanding that is a good way to move past it. Take the time to give the block the attention it requires. Focus on another project, talk it out with friends, take a break from writing if you need to. The creative mind is constantly bombarded with stimulus, so it’s only natural that every once in a while the brain puts on the brakes and says, “Hell, no, I’m not going any farther.” Respect that. Allow yourself to work through it. You’ll be writing again in no time.