Lately, I’ve been really focusing on my writing. You can see that in my blog. I’ve been posting more regularly and writing with more freedom, playing with prompts, and really just writing to write. It’s been exciting for me.
I’ve been suffering though from a long bout of writer’s block. I had outlined the end of my NaNo book and was happily working toward that end and then one of the characters said, “You can’t write this ending. It’s rubbish and it’s not what’s supposed to happen to me.” I looked at it and realized this character was right. So I outlined again. And again, that character said, “Tsk, tsk. Still not the right ending for me.” And I had to look at it and agree again. It wasn’t the right end. Back to the outline again.
This has now happened five times. I just don’t know what I’m doing. All of a sudden, this idea that was flowing along so nicely during the month of November is now at a stand-still, being held hostage by a finicky young woman who seems to want something but won’t say just what.
Writer’s Block is one of those things that people either believe in or believe to be a myth. I am one of the ones who think myth. I may not have had much progress in getting toward the ending of my book, which makes it hard for me to want to be part of a writing/revision group when I don’t have a completed piece, but that doesn’t mean I have stopped writing altogether.
While I’m waiting for this character to figure out exactly what it is she wants, I am going back and expanding on spots that needed a little more. I’m editing other sections and removing the non-essential parts. I’m adding more scenery and other information that helps me get a little closer to getting that ending that is supposed to be matched up with the rest of the story.
Doing this simple act is really a huge help. I find myself going back and reviewing everything, revisiting characters, conversations, even clothing choices. All those things help make the ending a little more clear. I had a pretty good breakthrough last night but it actually made the ending a little less clear because one of those magical things happened. As I was writing, the character in question said, let’s see what happens if the professor does provide the key ingredient. Even though it was never in my original outline, it works. Now, I have a whole new direction to go in and that is exciting!
Writer’s block is more of a mental hurdle we place in front of ourselves. We can either let it stop us or we can choose to work around it. Simply writing a journal entry a day is one way to keep the writing going. Even though it’s not directly related to whatever it is you’re working on at the time, it’s still writing and you may find something in your writing that can help you go back to that story and finish it. Just keep writing, even if you feel stuck, write something different, like a small essay on the weather that day, a review of a book you recently read, a letter to a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Write anything. Then go back to your story and see what magical things happen!