No Such Thing As Writer’s Block

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by Suzanne D. Williams

I stared at the page, unsure what happened next or even if what I’d already written fit into the story. Frustrated, I blew out a breath and saved my work, closing the software. I’d try again another day.

“Try again” because the only writer’s block I ever have comes from lack of vision. I hem myself in with outlines and expectations and lose that moment of magic, seeing only what might happen and not what could if I’d step outside the box I’ve built.

Let’s boil it down to its roots. Writing is a list of “what ifs.” Getting unstuck hits at the heart of this. What if he were older? What if she was divorced and had a child? What if she moved to assert her independence? What if it wasn’t a holiday at all but the midst of summer? How would changing something drastically affect the scene and, in a larger scope, the story? This question usually helps me work around whatever I’m hung up on.

In cases of extreme screw-up, I’ve even been known to change the character’s names entirely. Same concept for the story, new people. At other times, writing the wrong thing helped me locate the correct one. Those “wasted chapters” then become not “wasted” at all but stepping stones.

In truth, writer’s block is usually due to the clog of life. It’s less not knowing how to proceed than your 8-to-5 job, your three kids, the dog puking on the carpet, your husband leaving a trail of grass across the floor, all getting in the way. Our heads fill with other things and thus aren’t clear for plots and storylines. We’re tired, irritable, or stressed. On days like that, I don’t try to write. I do marketing or graphics, or sometimes simply watch TV. There’s no point in pushing what won’t come out.

I’m not giving up. I’m resting my mind to make room for the creativity to whir again. Because a tired mind can’t come up with anything productive. Stopping for the moment is usually best for the story and my peacefulness. I stop, though, refusing to let the idea of “writer’s block” exist in my thinking. I’m not blocked at all but, tomorrow or next week, I will write again.

I’m a writer, and writing is what I do. I simply accept I’m having an off day because I’m also human, and sometimes my humanity comes first. Success comes through persistence and determination, and sometimes, the best thing to foster both is walking away. It’ll be a better story if I don’t force it anyhow, and I’ll enjoy the process so much more.

Enjoying the process is what made me a writer to begin with. It’s success, completion, done through struggle and hard work. Part of that is knowing when to step back and rest. Then, when I’m not expecting it, the solution will come to me, and I’ll be back at the keyboard once more, that much closer to writing “the end.” 

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About The Author:

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com or link with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at twitter.com/SDWAuthor.

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