Writing. It’s finding ideas, discovering character, plotting, grammar, edits and proof reading. All of which are hard. But that’s not the hardest part. For me it is that moment every morning when I have exhausted every delay excuse I know. I have started the laundry, put a meal in the slow cooker, checked the email, tidied my office and NOW I must face the computer screen. I must enter my story.
I have a stay-at-home, super writing day planned. I am eager. I am excited until I get to the screen. Suddenly, I can’t write. It’s not that I don’t have ideas. I have a synopsis, for goodness sake. All I have to do is write the story.
It isn’t so much writers block as writing block. I get it almost every morning and it’s painful. I think I balk because I know I am going to enter a fictional work that will leave me crying, laughing, exhilarated and emotionally drained. I will emerge from the day exhausted. Then there is the fear that my words won’t work in portraying the story, fear that I’ve lost my way in the story and am peddling away mindlessly in the dark but going nowhere.
I think of wonderful solutions. I KNOW I could write easier if I could go to an exotic location.
I think if my office was more appealing I would write better. More. More often. Easier. And who wouldn’t like to write in a beautiful library? But I might as well wish for a personal butler as wish I could escape to a beautiful library to write.
So what’s the answer?
I do preplanning notes so I’m ready to jump right in come morning. It’s a good idea and it helps me be more productive but doesn’t get me past the writing block. Having a working synopsis, having an understanding of story and characters so I know where I am supposed to be going–like having a road map–all help. But I’ve only found one solution for my block and that is sheer determination. Will power (I will do this. I will do this. See mom, being a stubborn child has finally paid off.) The best way I have found to get me through this is a kitchen timer. I set it for a minimum of 10 minutes and force myself to write without stopping for that time. It is usually enough to get me going.
I always feel better to have done my writing. Otherwise I get a sort of mental constipation.
The only thing worse than writing is not writing.
I would love to hear what works for other people.