Mar 7, 2012

writer's block

As you might have read below, yesterday was a very frustrating writerly writing day. Why? Because I had writer's block.

Which incidentally makes me feel like an angry wet cat.

Writer's block is so frustrating simply because it's something that I really cannot control. It's not like I wake up one day and decide Today would be a great day to get writer's block. It just happens. There's a point where I cannot go on with a scene or if I can it just feels wrong. I've learned (especially over the past few months with revisions for LUMINANCE HOUR) that my intuitions are usually right when it comes to what will work and what won't.

But yesterday, I couldn't figure out for the life of me why the scene felt so wrong. I spent about half an hour just staring at my computer screen with an agonized stare. Scribbling nonsensical things in my notebook.

In case you're wondering about the robot reference, it's in connection with Laini Taylor's writing blog.

Anyway. I ended up setting everything aside and picking up a book (Jessica Spotswood's Born Wicked if you were wondering). Usually reading helps clear my head. But when I put the book down I was still feeling... stuck.

So I decided to talk about it. This is just one of the many reasons why critique partners are SO NECESSARY! They help you remember that you don't suck as a writer and that your slump is only a temporary natural thing. And sometimes they can even help you figure out what's wrong and how to fix it!

In my case, I was trying to cram too much into such a short span of pages. I realized what I needed to do to get me out of my rut and make my manuscript better for it. Of course, doing said thing means "killing my darlings" (ie. deleting or filing away some scenes that I LOVE because the writing is SO PRETTY) (<--as you can see I'm being so humble here.). And this subject belongs to another post entirely. I'll let you know how it goes.

So, in summation, to get over writer's block one must:

A) Curse and write about robots in sloppy handwriting.
B) Stare at computer screen for a lengthy amount of time.
C) Read a book.
D) Talk it out with you therapist (er, critique partner...)
E) All of the above.

I will let you decide.


  1. There's also this from Neil Gaiman, if it helps...

    1. Oh. I love Neil Gaiman! Thanks for the link!

  2. Very true. I'm fortunate enough to not really suffer from block that often so much as permanent procrastination. And why is writing so hard? Silly girl, it's easy! Everyone on the street says so! :)

    1. Oh I know. I guess I should just pay one of THEM to write my book for me. ;)