Writer’s Block is defined as “the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.” For many writers like me, we just call it “a slow march into Hell with only a thimble of water to drink.” It can make or break any author. It will make you miss deadlines, collapse goals and potentially lose money we haven’t earned from our last book. In other words, a bottomless pit from which there is no escape for the weak and weary. Once you’re there, it’s hard to climb your way out of it.
It can also cause an author to get distracted and do other things besides writing, from playing video games to watching a movie or surfing the internet. These distractions can lead to even longer delays in finishing your novel, blog, etc. So, what can we do to correct these inactions and lessen the distractions?
In the times I’ve experienced writer’s block, I found the best thing to do is to step back and take a breath. Sometimes, you get so wrapped up in writing that you can’t think straight and that leads to writer’s block. You have to stop and pull yourself together to find your zen and continue on. I know that sounds more like one of the problems when an author gets writer’s block, but it’s the best way that works for me.
To give you an example, when I was writing the second book in the Forever Avalon series, I started writing it as a prequel. I wanted to talk about the 10 years my lead character spent on Avalon before the rest of his family showed up on the island. After about the first four chapters, I got stuck. It wasn’t flowing right for me so I stopped and backed away from the story to gather my thoughts. It took me a few months and then it hit me. I started to write my second novel, The Dark Tides, as a straight sequel and used the pages I already write as flashbacks to help carry the story. It ended up being a monstrous book, nearly 200,000 words, but I was able to finish the remainder of my novel without any more episodes of writer’s block.
Others advise you to avoid distractions like television, music, etc. To me, if you have the right mood music, it helps in writing. Whenever I’m writing, I like to have a movie playing in the background, away from where I can see it, but where I can still hear it. My usual preference is a fantasy movie like Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia or The Hobbit. This keeps my mind in fantasy-mode (for lack of a better word) and helps me push through any writer’s block.
There are tons of articles out there with varied advice on how to avoid and overcome writer’s block. The one thing they all agree on is to stop writing for the readers and write for yourself. Tell your stories, write what you want to write, not what’s currently hip and trending. Remember, trends usually go the way of parachute pants and hair metal bands. Write what you want to write.
In the end, it’s up to you to find that happy place that lets your creativity flow and propel you into, as the song goes, the “Playground of my Mind.”
“In the wonders that I find,
In the playground in my mind,
In a world that used to be,
Close your eyes and follow me.”
Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iUniverse. The Outlander War can be previewed at Inkitt.