Today I'll continue my series on conquering writer's block. The other posts are here (introducing the model), here (going over the "flavors"), and here (about how to dissect the "when life gets in the way" flavor of writer's block).
And now we get to ...
Writers have to accomplish a lot of different stuff. In addition to writing all the words, we have to craft a clever plot that surprises and engages the reader. That's kind of difficult sometimes, and it's natural to get stuck. On a scene, a plot twist, a character motivation ... A LOT of writers told me that this kind of stalls them out sometimes
Many of the tips I see for writers are things like "just write!" or some variation on that. BUT--if you've got the BC flavor of writer's block, "just write!" isn't likely to work as well for you. It could result in an intensification of your frustration and stuckness. I would know. One of my big problems, actually, is that, when I get stuck, my brain goes into this mode:
I worry at that problem until I can't see straight. I dream about it. It is all I think about while I commute. And as I do, I get more ... and more ... and more ... well, crazypants, for lack of a better term. But no closer to solving my problem. You know the only thing that ends up relieving this kind of STUCKness?
So really, you have to get off the hamster wheel. If you're on overwhelm, if you're just stuck, it's actually best to step away for a little while and think of other things. How many of you have come to a solution while thinking about something completely different? Your brain is amazing. Let it do its work. And, failing that, get another perspective! Talk to one of your critique partners. Don't argue, and don't decide pre-emptively whether or not the suggestions will work. Just let them sit for a while.
Now ... if you do this, if you step away and give your brain permission to wander, you have to be aware of when/if that wandering turns in to avoidance. It can happen. Think of your thoughts as green fruit, gradually ripening as you let them sit in the sunlight. If you stay away too long, the risk of them going rotten and turning into something gross that you'd pretty much do anything to avoid cleaning up ... gets higher by the day.
Which is why, on Monday, we shall talk about a little something called AVOIDANCE. Otherwise known as: THE CYCLE OF DOOM.
Until then, my friends, have an excellent weekend!