As a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, I get the opportunity to host some wonderful authors on tours. I particularly enjoy the posts where they teach us something about the craft of writing. Today, welcome A.M. Manay who is here to discuss Writer's Block.
“Bashing Writer's Block“ by A.M. Manay
I don't know about you, but sometimes I just get stuck. I do some outlining before I begin writing a new book, but I really only have bare bones when I get started. Sometimes characters have their own ideas of where things should go, and it takes some thinking to work it out. Sometimes I can't quite pick out the right path to the next peak in the narrative. I suspect most of us have at least some experience with writer's block. I'd like to share with you some of the strategies that have worked for me in the past.
1) Take a Break
There is value in allowing yourself to take a few days or weeks off to allow your mind to recharge and your energy to return. I hit a mental wall about 3/4 of the way through writing She Lights Up the Dark (November Snow Book 2). I gave myself a few weeks over the Christmas holidays to rest and let my mind wander. Somehow, my tangled thoughts worked themselves out, and in January, I was ready to bang out the last 4 or 5 chapters with no problem. There is value in rest.
2) Write something else
Do you have an idea for a short story, poem, blog post, or new series? Take a few hours to explore it and get the juices flowing. Sometimes that is enough to shake things loose on the original project.
3) Write out of order
You have an idea for a cool scene, but your narrative isn't quite there yet, or you don't know quite where to put it? Write it anyway. It will help you clarify your thoughts and help keep the process fun rather than tedious.
4) Try fan fiction
Do you have a favorite book, movie, or television show? Write a story set in that universe. Maybe you won't be able to use it for anything, but you never know what images, personalities, phrases, or arcs you might come up with that you can incorporate into your “real work” later.
5) Talk it out
Sometimes describing your dilemma to a spouse, friend, or fellow writer can make the solution just appear before your eyes. Writing can be such a solitary pursuit. There is value in community, especially the kind of community we have here at the Rave Reviews Book Club.
The next time you're staring blankly at the screen, I hope this list will give you a little push in the right direction. Do you have any tricks of your own for combating this scourge? Share them in the comments!
In addition to her work as an indie author of paranormal fantasy, A.M. Manay is a former inner-city chemistry teacher, a singer, a yoga enthusiast, a Clerk of Session in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and a mother through domestic open adoption. She has a passion for increasing diversity in popular culture and for strong heroines who stand up for themselves, make their own decisions, and don't depend on romance as their reason for being.
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