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!)


  1. YaY Amy! I got discouraged too when I used to read other writers work and think how beautiful and poetic their words are. I try really hard not to compare myself to anyone. If you do that you won't ever get anywhere in writing because you'll never think you're good enough.

    Amy, with my first release The Vampire's Pet, after I got a rejection letter basically telling me how horrible my writing was, I almost cried and I felt like the person was correct. I honestly thought of giving up. Lo and behold that book was picked up and I've gotten amazing feedback on it.

    Please keep writing and keep the internal editor and self doubts at bay. Just write and write then edit when you have the story written.

  2. I've found my way to get out of 'writers block' is to also read. It gets your mind turning again. For me it shows me how to create a world while reading another writers work. It helps me be reminded that I have to shape my characters in their world just the same. And sometimes my mind needs a break from creating and just focus on the fun it is to see the final product of creating which for me is to read and keep reading. Amazing post.

  3. From now on, I will not edit anything for you until you're done! You're an excellent writer. Just let me polish it!

  4. Thanks everyone for the WONDERFUL encouragement!! It's nice to see I'm not alone in "writer's block."

    Angie- naaa, then that would overwhelm you when I send it all at once. What I am going to do is, file it in a EDITS file and not look til' I'm done!!! ;o)

  5. Read, read, read -- oh heck yes! Even if I don't have writer's block, I can't help but feel a need to stick my head in someone else's made up world -- it's not that my real world sucks, it's just my imagination craves it :)

    Good luck getting over the writer's block. One thing I found works is to have more than one WIP happening at once, then when you get stuck with one, you can play with the other until the plot bunnies strike you! Just so long as some writing/editing is done each day, i tend to find I don't come up against a HUGE brick wall -- or at least, it doesn't feel like I do. Half my problem is having too many ideas LOL