5 Minutes a Day: Writer’s block

No, I’m not saying that you can get beyond writer’s block in 5 minutes.  But if you spend five minutes figuring out why you have it?  Then you’ll know which of these methods to try.

So far this year, I’ve written 6 contracted books.  I’ve rewritten 4 of them.  I’m about to write #7.  I’ve also written one picture book and am about done with another.  And I’m drafting a novel.

Given this schedule, I know what my problem is when I can’t write.  I’m tired.  Physically and quite likely mentally.  I need to apply technique #2.  I need to do something creative or fun and recharge.

But earlier in the year before I met all these deadlines, I couldn’t get the novel outlined.  It just wasn’t happening.  I finally realized that it was because I was intimidated.  I’m good at nonfiction.  Fiction?  Not so much.  Instead of facing the blank page when it was time to draft a scene, a copied a paragraph from the outline.  Ta-da!  The page is no longer blank!  Goofy?  Yes, but the word started to flow.

Solution #3.  That’s what I need to employ when I’ve been writing but something just feels off.  I take a break and fold laundry or walk.  Exciting things like that.  I think about the project.  And very often it becomes clear that I’ve written myself into a corner.  I need to take a new direction.

When you get blocked, spend a few minutes noodling over your schedule, your project, and your emotions.  Once you know where you stand, you’ll have a better chance of getting past that wall.


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