I’ve been writing for most of my life and have never really had a long bout of writer’s block — until the past few months. At first, I chalked it up to the busy-ness of the holidays, then January hit and I had no more excuses. I knew: I was stuck. I had the basic arc of the story in my head. I knew where I wanted to go, but every time I sat down to write I just couldn’t find the next words. Instead, I’d hop online to Facebook or Goodreads, play a few games on Sporcle, or put the computer away to watch reruns of “Sherlock.” I was the queen of distractions.
It didn’t bother me at first. I’d been writing fast and furious for the past few years. I have Book Six completely written and awaiting editing (I don’t always write in order). So, maybe I just needed a break. But that break began dragging on too long and I started to get worried. Maybe I was losing my edge. Maybe I was getting bored. This was different from my journalism days when I’d stare at the blank page waiting to pound out my next newspaper article. In those cases, I had to get my work done. If I’d told my editor I had writer’s block, he would have laughed and told me to get back to work. On a deadline, there is no such thing.
So I made myself write. If I had an idea for a later point in the book, I wrote that part first. Sometimes it was just a few paragraphs. Sometimes in the back of my mind, I knew what I was writing sucked and I was going to have to go back and fix it anyway. But at some point, the gears quit slipping and the story clicked again. Whew!
Now it’s back to work.