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Brain Freeze May 12, 2013

Posted by techtigger in writing.
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Writer’s block is a bitch.

Not sure when it started creeping in, but for some time now I’ve been fighting it, as I’m sure you’ve noticed by the lack of stories. The odd part is I’ve been writing. I just haven’t been keeping any of it. If writing was merely a game of numbers I’d have a full series of novels all set to go, but I’ve never worried too much about how many words I’ve written. I need to have the RIGHT words, and being something of a perfectionist I refuse to pour out crap just for the sake of saying I wrote X number of words, or X many stories. Quality over quantity.

But what to do when you hit a wall? I have had the good fortune to win a 3 month mentorship with the Evil League of Evil Writers, and got the best advice I’ve ever had. Stop writing.  I know, sounds crazy, everyone says the only way to get better is to write. But sometimes, you need to just put the pen down and give yourself some breathing space.

Actually, i think their exact words were that I had a one week license for fuckwittery. 🙂

Note, there was a time limit.  The danger of taking time off is that if you don’t set a limit on it, the little fears creep in, the excuses, the games on facebook… and suddenly you haven’t written a word for a month.  (yes, i’ve fallen into that trap too, in the past.)  So, I gave myself one week off, spent it with family and friends, slept in late and generally screwed around. Fuckwittery.

The pages that had me stymied were still there when I came back, but i didn’t dive right into writing. I sat down and tried to explain the problem to my Evil mentor. And lo-and-behold, as I tried to write out what the problem was, I saw the answer.  Yesterday, I sat down for 4 straight hours, got a chapter done and the bones of two more worked out. That was the best writing session I’ve had this year, and suddenly writing was fun again.

I also noticed that the TV was off, the wifi turned off, and I had a quiet morning alone.  I’m beginning to understand why some writers rent a hotel room and disappear for a week or two when they are working on their novel. Too many distractions. I might just have to use up some vacation time this summer, and find a place with a bottomless supply of tea and cookies 🙂

So, I still have to finish the next installment of Gathering Shadows (the breakthrough was for a novel I’ve been working on).   I’ll be sitting down this week to try to put into words where I’ve run into a block with GS. With any luck, the muse will fire off another flashbulb over my head, and I’ll see my way through the tangle.  When I do, you will be the first to know. 🙂

-angie

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