Most writers go through periods of rest from time to time. It’s worth remembering that these caesuras often come in times of stress, when we’re helping others, or dealing with increased personal burdens in other aspects of our lives, like a day job. We may not be writing our 1,000 words, but we’re contributing something to the greater world.
What’s more, we might well be resting our writing brains for the great task ahead. In any case, even if the pause was to stream 14 seasons of NCIS, it’s well to set aside writer’s guilt (I don’t believe in writer’s block) and be confident that any obstacles we face could be grist for the writing mill.
Everybody works differently, but one way to restart is to set a timer for ten minutes and write out a character’s thoughts. Another is to copy out a favourite opening passage, and then to write an opening one in a similar rhythm, rather than a similar style. If neither of these do the trick, it’s very possible that outlining is in order.
Or maybe you’re still resting. When you return to your task, with your usual vigour, your characters will still be there, loyal and ready for new adventures.
I hope you’ll have another great week in your writing career. Cheers, Mel.
Mel Anastasiou writes The Fairmount Manor Mysteries series, starring Mrs Stella Ryman, The Hertfordshire Pub Mysteries series, starring Spencer Stevens, and the Monument Studio Mysteries starring Frankie Ray, found in Issue 22 and Issue 24. She is a founding editor of Pulp Literature Press.