Thursday, January 20, 2011

Writer's Block or Whining?

Want to scare a writer? Mention writer's block... Writer’s block (generally speaking) is when a writer loses the ability to write, or they think their work is inferior.  And it really scares the beegy-weegies out of me!! I stare at the screen in horror. Dread soaks into every pore on my body. I type. But nothing comes. I type more. Still nothing. Nothing but writer’s block. This does not happen often, but ask any writer— once is enough.
Sooo… I edit, thinking this will get my juices flowing... Naaa... if anything I get discouraged, lose inspiration and stop writing altogether. All this stems from my “problem,” or better yet—my dirty little secret. My writer’s block, in its most severe form, is lack of confidence. I know when I am writing, it’s good. (My blog doesn’t count. I blog to get a break from all the “rules” and “worries.) Yet when I edit I think its mega crap. And to make matters worse, I have a second problem. I edit before I’m finished, which means, I rarely finish. I get too discouraged due to the lack of confidence.  I know all this, yet occasionally I slip into the same old routine— or trap.
Lack of Confidence is suicide to writers. It certainly has hindered my writing. Now when I have the urge to edit I refrain— somewhat. Then I read. Yep, it’s true. I read my way through writer’s block! I found reading the genre I write really inspires. Unfortunately I pass a lot of time reading, not writing. I prefer to call it “research.” (clearing throat) To be perfectly honest, reading boosts my confidence. Have you read a book and thought “Wow, this got published? I know I have a chance!” Who hasn’t? Right?
My (recent) conclusion to it all? I fight the urge to edit until I actually FINISH a project. And read, read, read! It offers me inspiration and confidence! Writer’s block is a state of mind. Somewhere deep down in my soul, I know I’m good. Otherwise I wouldn’t continue down this path that started when I was a child. "So, suck it up, Ol’ Girl! Stop whining and write!” (I heard that in my grandmother’s southern voice!)