The issue of “writer’s block” came up organically during a recent writing group meeting. Though I was not suffering from it personally, I did after finishing my master’s program, which is how I ended up in the group.
To avoid “writer’s block” I try to write my stories, shamelessly, as I want to read them instead of being paralyzed by fear, (failure/success/others), i.e., writer’s block.
That said, even though I love being engrossed in my characters and their stories there are days where I can’t write because other responsibilities or nagging tasks are yelling over my muse;
- Household (grocery shopping, cleaning, pets, etc.)
When the subject came up, I shared with the group, what I could at the time about a recent Glimmertrain article I had read, where author Jane Delury wrote an essay on the subject. In it, Delury encourages authors to make progress on their projects, “…about being a writer: You must write.” she explains many of the situations authors must write through.
I’ve put her inspirational words into practice, by writing before and after work, through children’s schedules, and grocery shopping. I can say that once I tend to these everyday duties, the nagging goes away and I‘m free to create, to write.
On the worst days, when I can’t focus, or hear my own thoughts, much less hear the muse, I tend to less creative, more technical or skill-related tasks that are in line with at least one of my projects. As an Indie author, I may work on cover art, listen to something relevant like Mark Coker’s Smart author podcast or I may merely get out of the house and wait for inspiration. My first boss told me, “There is always something to do.”
So even when I can’t seem to write, the time is still going to pass, so I try to get something done trusting that eventually, I will be able to return to my characters, their story and the joy of writing.
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