“When she got back from taking Cassie to school Fanny knew that she ought to be working on her new wilderness romance. She had promised 30,000 words to her editor by tomorrow and she had written only eleven.” Jacklyn Moriarty
How do you get over writer’s block? If I had a dime for every time I’ve been asked this question, I could buy that beach house I’ve had my eye on for a while. Usually the question comes from a beginning writer still seeking that first contract. Here’s what I think: except in cases in which an author is suffering from clinical depression, writer’s block is a myth. Most often writers are stumped (“blocked” ) because of one or two things:
Inadequate planning. Stories stall when an author has not adequately answered the questions about her protagonists’ goals, motivations, and conflicts. What does your main character need to tell the world? What is the story’s moral premise? Read Stan Williams’ excellent book on moral premise, or check out his blog www.moralpremise.blogspot.com . Once you understand the core of your story, your writing will move forward.
Too many distractions. Studies show that every time a person is distracted from a task, it takes 15 minutes to refocus. Turn off your e-mail, Facebook, Twitter until your work for the day is done. Take a break every hour or so to rest your eyes and get the kinks out of your spine. Pay attention to your health. Get enough sleep. Eat right. Too much caffeine and too many refined carbs and sugars can make you sleepy. Although I can’t work when music is playing, some people find that instrumental music helps them stay focused.
What about you? How to do you keep the words flowing?