“I haven’t written in a week. It’s like holding your breath under water. You feel an awful constriction and then the instinct to propel yourself.”
-D. A. Botta
“I have found repeatedly hitting my head with a mallet doesn’t help at all, so I am open to suggestions.”
Every successful author is expected to answer interview questions about Writer’s Block.
Read enough of the answers and it’s clear that consensus among writers is that Writer’s Block arises from a crisis of trust in our own writing talent. And there are useful strategies we can bring to it. We can deal with the the block on the inside — by acknowledging the talent for writing that has carried us thus far — and on the outside — by working on our WIP outlines.
First, the outer writer: if you have written an outline, then the difficulty is no longer what you’re going to write but if you’re going to write.
Second, the inner writer: trust your talent. You’re a writer because your talent drives you. It always has and it always will. Therefore, it’s no longer if you’re going to write but when you’re going to write.
In our ridiculously busy lives, when is not so easy. Still, time management for writers, as opposed to bugaboo writer’s block (see how I removed the capitals there?) is a much more positive and enterprising problem to think about.
Next time, a couple of tricks for using outlines, story cards, and writing prompts to help stride boldly past the block back into your WIP.