Thursday, April 26, 2012

W for Writer's Block

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! You can visit the Home Page HERE.

Today I want to talk about getting stuck, or as some writer's call it, writer's block. I originally was going to analyze the process of how you get stuck, but I figure that as writers, you already know that part. What you'd like to hear are ideas and ways on how to get out of the mud and get un-stuck. No one likes to sit spinning your wheels, digging deeper and deeper into the mental muck, so let's talk about getting out of the mire.

What is it that intimidates us most when we are looking at that blank page? Is it laziness, as some suggest? Instead, may I suggest that ordinary fear and severe self judgement might be the real culprits holding you back? Instead of saying I have no inspiration, perhaps you are clamping down on your inspiration while expecting a masterpiece to come from your fingertips? Also, there are those who say that writer's block represents a lack of information. Could you be frustrated because you don't know enough about the scene, the action or the characters?

The best way to throw writer's block off and away is to write. Not to any great ambition, not to the soaring heights of creative genius, but simple and easy writing. Don't expect your rough draft to be perfect, because that's what it is, a rough draft. Pick up your pen and start writing about your characters and what you expect of them. Then, put one in a scene. After that, you'll find that because your expectations were allowable even to the smallest of expectations, you may have the beginnings of a story that you can work on. And you can say to yourself, "No more writer's block!"

I have made it a habit to write something everyday. No matter how much or how little, I write. When I am staring at a blank page and can't think of what to write, I turn it into an exercise. Pick a character and describe him. Then another and a scene. Soon I am writing about that cahracter and forming a whole story in my head. Then I can outline the story and fill in the details as I go. Sometimes it feels as if I'm working backwards, but the idea is to come up with a finished end product. To say this is the end. And that;s a wonderful feeling!

"The metamorphosis of an idea into a story has many aspects, some deliberate and some mysterious. "Inspiration" is a real thing, a gift from the subconscious to the conscious mind." ~Janet Burroway


  1. Hi Karen! Great post on dealing with writer's block.

    1. Suzanne: There's so much said on writer's block that it was a win-win situation to get information on. Plus I have sat in front of a blank screen myself and wondered how to get started. I discovered the answer is to write. Anything.