Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Writer's Block

What keeps a writer from moving their story forward? What causes writer's block?

I've put a lot of thought into this dilemma that I believe many writers if not all of us at one time or another experience what I refer to as a "freezing of the brain," a blank moment in time.

Why does this happen?

After all, I am prepared. I know the ending of book 2, and the ending of book 3, and the plot and the theme, and yet I go through moments where my thoughts just don't come. My story is moving forward, then I freeze.

I'm reading, studying and learning as I go, and then AHA...I realize that is what I'm doing wrong. My brain is on overload. I'm trying too hard; too hard to be perfect; too hard to keep up with the other authors who have been doing this a lot longer or have more experience.

I question my abilities. Am I good enough? Can I endure criticism? Can I commit to writing daily? How much do I love writing? Is it worth it, all the rejections, the competition?

How many people go to L.A. to become movie stars, and how many actually make it?

I know the stakes are high and YET...

I keep on writing, if I don't get writers block.

That is what has happened to me. I pull out of the brain freeze and start moving along and then the repeat performance. I pull out books to find out what to do about this disease of the mind. Someone has always got an answer for everything thanks to books, computers, and the internet. Knowledge at your fingertips for all who want to taste, to grow, to enrich their minds.

But BEWARE, too much of anything can lead to accomplishing nothing.

My brain needs time to absorb all the information I'm feeding it. I may be learning, but I'm not writing. The thoughts still aren't flowing.

Commit yourself. Start each day with an exercise.

You must loosen the brain like a muscle that needs a workout after a long day of stress and tension. If you're stressed or tensed, you will not be able to write.

When you first sit down, start off by putting a word on the page, and then add another word to that word, and another, and then another until you have several words pertaining to the first word. By doing this little mind game, or exercise, you spark the mind and the thoughts begin to flow.

Another step that helps is to write anything. Just start writing, whether what you say makes sense or not. Put any gibberish on the paper to loosen up the brain.  Soon the thoughts flow.

Set aside time daily, preferably the same time. Commit yourself to that time and don't let anything interfere. Don't answer your phone, don't check your email, and don't blog. Try to write in the same place. Sometimes a change is refreshing but you'll get more work accomplished it you stick to a regimental place and time.

All of the above is knowledge gained by other authors, editors, agents who have had similar experiences. And the journey continues.

Write, read, pencil, paper, journal, book, type, laptop, words, thoughts, time, timer, commitment, ideas, endurance, novel, short story, novella, goal.....YOU GET THE IDEA.

Write on!


YelenaC said...

Great advice about getting your brain to loosen up, just like any other muscle!

Jai said...

This is great advice. Thanks for sharing.

I found you through the A-Z Challenge and look forward to reading your blog.

Jai said...

I nominated you for the Leibster Award over on my blog.
= )

Sharon said...

Thank you! Very encouraging post. Found you on the A-Z site and plan to follow. I write and live on the Washington/Idaho border. Nice to meet you :)

Kathy Collier said...

Thanks Jai for the Liebster Award. It took a while but I did it! Yay! Nice to meet you.

Kathy Collier said...

Hi Yelena! It's nice seeing you again. Looking forward to the A to Z 2013 April Challenge. Work that brain.

Kathy Collier said...

Hi Sharon:

I like the title of your blog. Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to getting to know you better while we A to Z it this year.

Patricia Lynne said...

I can never write when I'm stressed so these look like good ways to relax my mind and get me writing.

Kathy Collier said...

Thanks Patricia: I left you a message on your site. Looking forward to A to Z-ing with all of you.

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