Writers droughtDecember 18, 2009 at 11:44 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
For those of you who follow the blog often you may or may not have noticed that I attempted Nanowrimo this November. The good news, I was able to push through my blood. Sweat and tears and hit that magic number emerging a victor of Nanowrimo. The bad news; I experienced a phenomena that I like to call a writing hangover.
For about a week after Nano I just couldn’t write. I would sit at the computer flicking between both my works in progress and would be at a total loss. In my mind I think I put it down to the fact that I had used every trick every percolating plot in my Nano novel that my brain decided it would go on strike while it waited for my creativity to re-boost. Now at first I thought I would wait it out. However after almost three weeks of writing absolutely nothing it seems I have lost all motivation to write.
I’m sure we all have this problem at some stage. Life sometimes gets in the way. Prior to Nanowrimo I had a schedule, I was still in school for the year and all my friends understood when i had to tell them that I was unable to catch up with them because of school, exams or even netball finals. However as soon as the holidays start you have to catch up with everybody, and when you’ve neglected everybody for a year that takes some time. But back to my problem. At this point I look at my laptop with a sort of lost longing feeling. I know I should write, and I want to write, at least i think I do. So starting today I am enacting a twelve step program (conveniently downsized to three steps) to get me and anybody else who is out there out of writers block. I will no longer wait for this sucker to pass; I am going to attack it vigorously.
Step 1: I will write words every day. It can be for anything, any work in progress, and every day after this I will write 100 more words than I did the day before. I will do this until I reach an average daily word count that is sustainable and continue it until my novel is finished.
Step 2: I will not go to the start of my novel and decide that editing the first few chapters will count as some progress towards the day. This is of course optional for those of you who can restrain themselves long enough to get back to writing. Unfortunately I know full well that i have no restraint and long periods of editing will require ice cream, shortbread biscuits and a large amount of reassurance from my mum about how I haven’t wasted months of my life. That situation will not help my finish my novel, especially when it probably only needs 10,000 words or so to finish it.
Step 3: I will set a deadline with another person, my critique group or my writer friends. They will know what is happening and by sharing my problem perhaps it will be halved. Even if it is not halved I will have people telling me to write every day. People who will through there caring and understanding will give me a swift kick up the behind if I not met my daily quota.
By doing this I will (It is not a question of might, it will happen whether my brain wishes to cooperate or not) drag myself out of the desert where all good ideas go to die and once again be a writer to be reckoned with. Well that is the plan anyway.
So good reader what is it that you should take from this? Perhaps the simple fact that we all get writers block. Some of us even get stuck in quick sand and need help to get back out of it. I’m sure you have all experienced this at some point. What methods do you find work for beating back the monster that seems to drain all the creativity directly from my brain?