It’s actually quite simple: how I deal with writer’s block is scolding it (they? him? her?) and being a naturally evil creature and exiling it to Neverland where it can live with Captain Hook because he will probably treat writer’s block better than I will. Or he will use it as a hook for his hand and thus have a whole new torture device of the worst kind.
In case you didn’t know already, I am a writer. And being a confident worker, I can definitely say: At one point in our life, we’ve all been asked to write something.
I can’t necessarily say that we’ve all went ahead and complied with that request or demand and been a nice human being and written something, but regardless of that I’m sure everyone’s atleast written something once*.
Some of us have this spectacular hobby of writing novels or stories or whatever it is we do and promptly and brutally murdering the soul of good, innocent, people, by writing about good and innocent people and then killing them off because all good people are expendable in books. So are bad people, but then again, an author could kill off a tree and I wouldn’t be surprised.
But anyhow, the meaning of a writer is when you WRITE things and you do it of your own accord. IT MEANS YOU WRITE FOR THE HEALTH OF YOUR SOUL and so you do not turn into a mushroom or such.
Also, a writer isn’t someone who sits down everyday and jots down best-selling novels. It takes a LONG time. And in that time that it takes to jot down this best-selling novel (and rewriting/editing), there will also be many times where you find yourself 1) not wanting to write and 2) taking a break.
You think: “Oh, I just don’t want to write RIGHT NOW. I’ll write later. Why don’t I take a break and perhaps give myself some food so I survive because writing is a life-force-consuming thing?” AND THOUGH SHORT AND TEMPORARY, that is also writer’s block. It can be long and short and temporary or eternal and fat and in much need of those diet programs where people lose like 100 lbs. per day***.
It is STILL writer’s block. So on this particularly fine day where the sky spit on us all like 58 times and OH THE MISERY OF RAIN but you know, still a fine day–I’m going to do two things: jot up more best-selling novels/post ideas and also explain how you can tell when you have become afflicted with this overweight Mordor berry alias writer’s block.
*and if you have not all the shame. What did you do for the first 18 years of your life?
*** WHOEVER WROTE THESE ADS IS NOT VERY MUCH OF AN ABSOLUTE GENIUS. Because yes I’m believing this right now right about zilch much.
It’s a fact, okay? If you are a writer, then you love to write. It’s completely factual that writing is FUN. It’s a genuinely enjoyable act–it’s really easy to sink into whatever you’re writing and then never come up from your slumber again and sleep forever in a pink dress until Prince Philip passionately makes out with dead you since that’s definitely the answer to everything. See? THAT’S how easy writing is to enjoy. I can do it and enjoy it, so trust me, I’m pretty sure you would be able to as well. ALL YOU DO IS WRITE DOWN WHATEVER COMES TO MIND AND CALL IT A BOOK. ‘Slap on a fancy title like ‘Empire of Storms’ and publish and you’re done?’ You ask. YES I SAY YES MY SMOL PRECIOUS CHILD.
I’m totally lying. Writing is a completely terrible and torturous process. But if you are a writer, than that is what you have fallen in love with. YOU WILL MARRY YOUR LAPTOP AND HAVE A HAPPY MARRIED LIFE.
This is what writerdom is.
And basically, what I’ve been trying to make a point of by screaming in ALL CAPS is that if you no longer want to be tortured by terrible writing that is, for most of us here, what we live for–then you must be dealing with writer’s block my tiny frand.
It is a devastating truth. But it’s true! When you start to despise being slowly and mentally devoured and consumed by your novel, you know for sure that something is very wrong there.
Okay, we’ve all done this before so procrastination should be an art you have already mastered whether you are a writer or not. And let me tell you, writers do it OFTEN. Ask any writer, if they want to take a break and have pie and fulfill the dreams of their whole life and smash their laptop with a hammer and burn their WIP. Chances are, they’ll say yes. But if you ask them not if they want to, but if they will, then for sure they will chuck you out the window and steal your pie.
Because see, we are melodramatic and lazy creatures, but we’re also very feisty.
And SO, you ask now ‘Veda what are you getting at here because I understand that you are madly in love with procrastination and writing in general??’ And I will say: ‘HALT I will explain for I am a very difficult creature to understand. I’m level 132 on WordBubbles–impossible to solve.’
What I have been getting at here the whole time is that writers not only enjoy writing their novels, and even though most of the time they’re second-guessing every choice they made (mostly every character they allow to live*) and developing thorough jealousy of every other published and sometimes nonpublished book ever, they still love to write as often as they can and will try to even if it leads them to Neptune to live with the cold icy aliens there and become a penguin or food.
And if you, writer who have come looking for your soul to me**, have been deciding you’ll write tomorrow, or day after, or day after that–YOU ARE FACED WITH THE INFAMOUS WRITER’S BLOCK.
*IT IS THE HUNGER GAMES IF YOU WANT TO LIVE PROVE YOURSELF OTHERWISE DEADNESS BEFALL YOU. May you not be deprived of pie in the afterlife
** How smart is this creature. The correct answer would be VERY. Smart person.
Should there ever come a time where you look up at the stars, and say: ‘I WILL NEVER HAVE BETA READERS OR LAND A PUBLISHING HOUSE AGENCY all happiness of my life is gone* and I will never let anyone read my work and so now I will sit in the corner and be a smol burnt bean soup and burnt toast who tells NONE about her writing.’ Then please know you must face the truth that you have Writer’s Block.
A writer’s pride is their WIP or novel or only successful baking of pie.
And let me leave you with this: My lovely frand**–if you find yourself have no more of this writerly pride to share and ask for beta readers and praise about your book–I find you to be immensely afflicted with this condition. My condolences reach you. Although really, yours should reach me because I find myself refusing to share anything at all daily. Tears. Or really, those are just my natural bratty impulses.
The moral of this story is never trust me unless you want me to diagnose and cure you of a writer-y affliction.
Here comes the curing.
*WRONG. You still have pie. Hopefully.
** If each of your horcruxes has died each time I said frand (how are you not dead) then say it in a southern accent because I’m a southern belle and this is how I say everything fraaand
***ALSO PARDON THE ABOVE DSICUSS TYPO IN THE PRETTY HEADING OTHERWISE. I am typo queen after all, especially in graphic designing. I would’ve redone it, but ain’t no one got time for that.
So you’ve realized you have Writer’s-Block-itis. But do not worry, because it is not an incurable fatality. And so now you come to decision that you will read this patiently, because you cannot write right now and reading my blog is better anyways.*
But anyways, since I’ve already commanded you to fear not–I suppose we move on to exactly how you get over Writer’s Block. And the truth is–you don’t. It’s not exactly something you can control. But there are a few reasons why you fall into Writer’s Block, and really–the theory is quite simple, you just go reverse psychology, and even though it might not always work, it will probably have you writing with that spark of fervor as if all pie shall begone if you do not write again.
Reason 1: you got bored of writing day in, day out. And just because you are a writer, it doesn’t mean you can’t get bored of writing. Artists get tired of working on the same artwork day in, day out. Musicians get tired of playing the same piece, week after week. IT’S ONLY NATURAL.
And the thing is, if you get bored of writing but you go to write anyway because you are a persistent pumpkin like that** then you lose all your creativity and become a boring, yet still persistent pumpkin. Imagine this: you start off your WIP spectacularly! It sounds amazing so far (because this is like your fourth draft)…except you’ve written it four times..but you STILL HAVE TO WRITE BECAUSE WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU DO. So you go and write…and it sounds like mushroom vomit. FUNGI BE DECOMPOSING YOUR WIP.
Now, no one wants to read that as it progresses.
The trick is simple: DON’T WRITE, because it’s sucking the creativity out of you if you’re not wholeheartedly doing it. And see, writers are very creative creatures (unless you have a storywriter who writes your spectacular outline and you just write it–very unoriginal madame) so loss of creativity is quite fatal.
So what am I saying?
Yes, don’t write.
Yes, still be creative.
Find a way to keep yourself still artistically and creatively going, without writing. This kind of activity is a very ‘individuality’ kind of thing. So personally, for me, to keep myself creative, I take lots of book photos and/or edit based on my mood (because grumpy pumpkins don’t do a good job of editing) and then I play the piano because I’m in love with minors*** and every single piece I play SPEAKS TO MY SOUL.
So there. Keep yourself creative folks, because if I can, so can you.
*right?? well of course.
** actions deserving of pie, good ser
*** especially A and G
Reason 2: writing your current WIP has exhausted you and there’s SO MUCH PRESSURE. Don’t worry, I’ve just about ACTUALLY finished probably 4/31 ideas and actually first of all, outlined or drafted maybe 12/31. I AM NOT A FINISHER. I start way too many projects and I can never juggle them all so I just end up never finishing them. #yescommitmentissues
Here’s another handy trick, since I’m being especially helpful now:
FORGET ABOUT IT. THROW IT AWAY (not literally I hope) IN YOUR HEAD. IT IS GONE. EXILE IT TO MORDOR. STEAL ITS WIFE AND SEND HER TO SATURN BECAUSE THE ALIENS THERE HAVE MORE WORK ON THEM THAN YOUR WIP.
Of course, this is not to upset you or anything. Your WIP is your precious baby and sometimes we all need to just drop our babies off a cliff and come pick them up later*–everyone gets that feeling.
So really, what I’m telling you here is to put it out of your mind. Sometimes fires burn too big and bright to be safe enough to keep us warm and so we have to put them out. And that’s it! Eventually, your interest in your WIP will regenerate and you will be back to writing and killing off your favorite characters and now huzzah–your favorite pastime is back in action.
Humans always want what they don’t have–it’s the natural human tendency. We forget about everything we DO have and degrade its value personally. So if you distance yourself from your WIP, your brain will start becoming more and more attracted to it again and you will find yourself wanting to continue writing it very much or perhaps marry it, both of which I am happy for you for.
*I would advise you to NOT throw your literal biological child off a cliff because that may cause a few problems
Reason 3: each time you drag yourself to write, you end up getting terrible results and now you don’t know what to do because you have a self-set or publishing house/agent-set deadline so YOU RESORT TO SCREAMING IN CAPS LOCK.
You’ve just locked yourself into the corner of doom because you have no way out other than write and let’s be completely honest–you have no intention of doing that until the week or two before your deadline hits and you scramble to assemble some coherent kind of draft. YOU SIMPLY DO NOT WANT TO WRITE, but you know you have to.
This happens in every single kind of writing ever: you have a deadline, but you don’t want to write, so you force yourself to, and whatever letters you haphazardly put on the page–well, they sound absolutely terrible and make you question how good of a writer you are.
I feel like a specifically experienced little toasted bean here, because HELLO. I suddenly deserted you for two weeks because 1) I didn’t have the time to write, honestly. Blogging isn’t number one on my priority list even though I do love it. 2) I HAD NO IDEA HOW TO WORD OR HOW TO WORD OR HOW TO ENGLISH.
See, I still can’t English right. I can’t even word properly or English things like I usually English them. I CANNOT. I AM EXPELLING MYSELF TO MARS TO LIVE WITH THE MARTIANS EXCEPT FOR I AM TAKING MY CAMERA AND BOOKSHELF BECAUSE WE’RE ALL JOINED BY MARRIAGE. So let’s call it a day.
But ahem no. All you need to do when you find yourself having a one-on-one (no literally) conversation with your inner self, trying to forcefully compel yourself to write something, anything–you are making the condition worse.
That’s like spraining your ankle and then setting out for a soccer game to make a hat trick or a brace or several.*
NO. DON’T. Give yourself a break. Don’t force yourself to write, but then again, don’t completely knock yourself out of the writing game and be like I SHALL NEVER WRITE AGAIN I AM WIDOWED.
Forcing yourself to write will bring you just about zero results, and if you are like me, and struggle to get even one result, I would suggest you not drop your child off a cliff and not force yourself to write either. Spend your days making pie for yourself and ignoring aforesaid child because if it whines too much it’s going off a cliff and it takes an incredible amount of self-restraint to not chuck it off already.
I’m joking. I would never throw away my laptop. Or my camera. Or my bookshelf. I CANNOT EVER EVER LEAVE YOU MY PRECIOUS THINGS.**
*WHY DEAR COUSIN LOOK I AM USING THE SOCCER LINGO YOU CAUGHT ONTO ME. Soccer players pfft ^
^ yes a footnote in a footnote. This is THE hilariousest thing ever, more so than me, and that’s impressive: pfft autocorrects to puff and I end up dying of laughter on the floor because, well, SOCCER PLAYERS PUFF
** when you realize you care more for your books and camera and laptop than people (except for my sister, of course) and you come to the conclusion that you may or may not be obsessed with these things. BUT OF COURSE NO.
༝ Firstly, I recently sustained an injury and it’s on my LEFT HAND (thank god because if it was my right hand I wouldn’t be able to do ANYTHING) and typing up this deadly long post which was like 1000 words more than it should have been–it was IMPOSSIBLE, folks. IMPOSSIBLE. I originally planned for posting this last week, but I wasn’t finished writing it and by the time I sat down to write it–well, there you go, now my hand’s all wrapped up and it takes FOREVER to write anything. My sincere apologies for absconding without any notice.
༝ Okay, now it’s time for you to confess all of your left-hand injuries! But mostly just this: have you had writer’s block before? ARE YOU HAVING IT RIGHT NOW?? Join me, my pumpkin folk! Also, if you’ve had writer’s block before, what did you do to get rid of it? OR DID YOU JUST LET IT EAT YOU AND THEN GRADUALLY WAVE BY OH THE MISERY. We are les miserables without perfect Eddie Redmayne. ALL THE SADNESS. AND THE BIGGEST QUESTION OF ALL–ARE YOU A WRITER? gasps
༝ ALSO I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT ALL OF YOUR LEFT-HAND INJURIES! Truly.
༝ And fine. I shan’t scream in caps no more, but just for now. Because Writer’s Block is a very feisty thing. And see? I refrained.