I’ve been sitting here for the past five minutes, trying to figure out what to write my next blog about, but I hit a wall. Writer’s block can be a royal pain in the … Wait a minute, that’s it! Writer’s block!
Writer’s block can and always will be the angst of anyone who spent time writing everything from a term paper to the great novel; but it’s especially frustrating for new authors like me. You have all these great ideas swirling around your head but every time you try to put pen to paper or hands to keyboard, it just won’t come out.
When I started writing my first novel, Forever Avalon, I found it rather easy to write. During the two years I spent writing, the words flowed quite freely. That changed when I started writing the next book in the Forever Avalon series, The Dark Tides.
Before I go any further, I need to provide you with a little bit of background on my novels. Forever Avalon is about a Sailor who falls overboard during a storm at sea and finds himself on the magical island of Avalon. A year later, his family follows him and ends up on the island with him, but time passes differently on Avalon so one year for them has been ten years for him.
That being said, when I started writing the next book in the series, I originally wanted to do a prequel, focusing on the 10 years Bryan MoonDrake spent on Avalon before his family showed up. It started out easy for me. The story flowed as easily as my first novel. Then, I hit the wall.
No matter what I tried, I just lost my train of thought. I spent months writing about 1/3 of the book and I was stumped with a bad case of writer’s block. Nothing helped getting me back on track, so I just walked away. I had to take a step back for the time being until I knew where I wanted to go with the story.
I knew the story I wanted to tell but I just couldn’t translate that on paper. It was so frustrating. All the while, I kept having thoughts and dreams of the next chapter of the story, picking up where I left off. Then … Light bulb!
I started writing again, but this time I continued the the adventures of the MoonDrake family as their daughter Ashley returned to Avalon with her new husband Andrew for a honeymoon on a medieval fantasy world.
The problem was, I didn’t want to lose the huge amount of work I already put in on the prequel. That’s when I decided to use those pages as flashbacks to help move the story along. This was something I saw before in a great novel by Robert McCammon called The Wolf’s Hour.
In my 30 years as a journalist and author, I have found that the best cure for writer’s block is to walk away, collect your thoughts and then get back in there and break though. You have to keep writing, no matter what you do.
I also realized that you always have to go with your gut. I ignored the idea of continuing the Forever Avalon story right where I left off because I had my heart set on writing a prequel. It was because of that writer’s block that I finally put myself on the right path and was able to writer The Dark Tides.
Do let writer’s block stop you from finishing your work, use it get yourself on the right track and tell the story you were meant to write.