I’m just going to admit it right now. I’m working through a novel, and writer’s block has shown up.
There are a million and one ways listed over Google that can help you work through it.
For a long time – and I think this is part of any writer’s development – I just wrote when I was inspired. Now, I try to write even if I can’t. I try to push through it, because I know it’s more likely to pass when I’m paying attention. Or at least, I will be paying attention when it does go away.
But I’ve found writer’s block can be a good thing, too.
Most authors and writers will disagree. But product quality matters, and I’ve found that when writer’s block forces me to step away and take a better (read: more objective) look at it, I find that I can do a better job. Even if it means erasing my own work (which is the worst part of writing, I assure you.)
1. Editing is Painful, but it Matters. Do your editing while you have writer’s block. Rereading through your work will make it better, and it might help stir the pot so you’ll be ready to write once you’re finished reading.
2. Writer’s Block can “Unblock” other stories. Some of my best ideas for novels, novellas, and other creative ideas have come from when a story was just blocked up. It’s like if my main plumbing line is blocked, it’ll squirt out anywhere else it can.
3. Refocusing. One of the most profound things I’ve ever read – in relation to depression, but it rings true here as well – is that healing doesn’t mean forgetting, healing means refocusing. Refocusing your attention on other matters can help you make the right choices for your stories – such as changing the order of events, working with the characters, or developing a different setting – even if it is not what you originally planned for your life. Very few people I know have their lives planned out, and even less follow through. I am probably one of the closest people I know to have done that and achieved that, so I know firsthand it’s not everything. A little impromptu adventure and unexpected surprises can be a good thing (though, since I technically hate surprises, I do have to say anything unexpected isn’t automatically good).
What other lessons have you learned from writer’s block? Do you have any books that have helped you through it, or any tricks? Let me know in the comments below!