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Causes and cures for writer’s block.

A few days ago I was working on Chapter 19 of the WIP. I had brainstormed the chapter in my normal mind map fashion and then converted that to linear notes (basically bullet points). I sat down to start the first draft of the prose when it all slowed to a crawl. I just wasn’t feeling it.

First off let me get one thing straight: I do not believe in writer’s block. Read any interview with a journalist-turned-novelist and they will tell you the same thing: If writing is your career, then not writing is not an option. It’s the equivalent of [insert person with any job here] saying they can’t do [that job] because they aren’t feeling it. You just bought yourself a train ticket to Unemploymentville, calling at all stations via YourWifeIsLeavingYou and KraftDinnersForOne.

What I do believe in, though, is that sometimes the writing is harder than it usually is. When that happens, the worst thing I can do is try to push on through. The better solution is to pause for 10 minutes, make a pot of coffee, and spend a cup (or maybe two) worth of time figuring out why it’s harder going. I love writing. If putting the words down changes from feeling like strolling on a beach in swimshorts and flip flops to wading knee deep in snow up a steep Canadian mountain (in swimshorts and flipflops) then it’s going to feel like that for the reader too. In other words, I trust my instincts and spend a little time working out what’s wrong so I can fix it before I walk any further.

So what are the common causes? Continue reading