It’s been a rough start to this year’s Nanowrimo, 2015. I’m still on quota with the novel but experiencing the sheer difficulty this 2nd day took, it’s making me wonder about the rest of the month. Add to that the fact I’m trying to do NaNoBloWriMo (National Novel+Blog Writing Month?) and the deck looks stacked against me. What can one do against such odds? Write through it.
You face obstacles in any endeavor, whether it be to run a marathon or write a novel. What can you do when you face obstacles in your writing? A block? A lack of energy or willpower? A want or need to do something else? Write through them. Write despite your difficulties, write for the hell of it. Realize the experience you are having, see what blocks your path and make the decision to write anyways.
If you sit with an empty screen or blank paper in front of you, realize the only thing stopping you from writing is yourself. You did not ‘get’ writer’s block, that is an excuse. If you do not know what to write, pick an idea and run with it. If you do not know where to go, ask your characters and if they don’t know where to go then they aren’t fleshed out enough. They should have goals and dreams and strive to achieve those things, regardless of the needs of their creator, the writer. Throw obstacles in their path to represent the obstacles in your own way.
You know what Raymond Chandler did when faced with ‘writer’s block?’ He had a man enter the scene with a gun. Why not? If you’ve got nothing better, do it. Throw danger in there. Throw new characters at old ones. Have characters engage and talk and discuss. Have something, anything, happen.
Jump ahead to a scene you’re interested in, to a scene you have an idea about and write that. Hell jump to the climax and write that. Jump to the end, the epilogue, the prologue, wherever you need to go and write that. Write up an outline to better structure your ideas and yes, words in an outline, at least in my opinion, count towards your word goal.
Just write. Write first. Write last. Write death and destruction, write life and hope. Write conflict and chaos and peace and order. Realize the drama in every moment. Write your heart out. It’s what I’m doing. It’s what we’re all doing in Nanowrimo. Write to the heavens and write to hell.
I threw in an attempted robbery of my character. It got me some words, grew the character and showed me more about him. It may be cut when editted or put somewhere else or simply left in and polished. The point is it’s there, it’s content. You can alter, edit, and change content. You can’t alter, edit or change a page with nothing there. I also had y character go into a long conversation with another character, that really brought out my characters dreams and goals and problems and obstacles. Will that conversation likely be cut down, sliced up, inserted elsewhere rather than just plopped near the beginning of the story? Probably. The point is it’s there and it’s telling me more information about this world and these characters which in turn is getting my wheels turning and spinning with new ideas to write for the next day and the day after that, to get to the next plot point and the next event the characters participate in.
Writer’s block is a bad terrible awful no-good excuse. It’s for whiners and weaklings. Maybe you need a break and that’s fine. That’s understandable, that makes sense, but don’t give in to the ‘writer’s block’ phenomena. We have amazing brains, a creative imagination that can spin up a thousand worlds, dimensions, planes of existence, galaxies. Don’t fall into the idea that something can BLOCK your imagination, your creativity. That’s phooey. Writer’s block is undefinable which makes it impenetrable. You cannot define why you’re not writing so you cannot overcome the obstacle. Are you tired? Then take a nap. That’s not writer’s block. Are you bored with what you’re writing? Start somewhere else, somewhere exciting and write. That’s not writer’s block. Mind a blank wall of white? Write about the room around you. Write about your day, your feelings, your dreams, anything to start you going and you’ll get back to the story eventually.
“Writer’s block is the spoon from the Matrix: Do not try to break through the writer’s block, that is impossible. Instead, realize the truth. There is no writer’s block. Then you’ll see, it is you who block yourself…”
Or something. Hell I don’t know, I’m writing like a banshee here, it’s probably going to sound crazy sometimes.
SAY IT WITH ME
THERE IS NO WRITERS BLOCK THERE IS NO WRITERS BLOCK THERE IS NO WRITERS BLOCK!
WRITE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND!