Day 5: What advice would you give for getting unstuck?
Unstuck from a muddy road? A dead end job? Or the dreaded Writer’s Block?
Since I’ve suffered from “Writer’s Block” far too long and too often, I’ve collected advice from every source available. Some suggest keeping two projects going at once so you can change around when you’re stuck on one. Some suggest just sitting at the computer for a set length of time; further along that suggestion is to type out whatever nonsense words come from your fingers until you’ve flipped that creativity switch. Use one of the Do or Die writing aids.
Get some exercise, go out into the sunshine and commune with nature. Maybe wash some dishes or take a drive so that the mindless activity will help free the creative side of your brain (a walk might be safer than a drive.) Trick yourself by setting a timer and only letting yourself write for that set period of time. Set up sprints with other writers.
I’ve tried all of these and they have worked. As long as I keep doing them.
Nora Roberts doesn’t believe in writer’s block. She sees her writing as a job, same as going into the office every day. She’s not alone. In fact, when you start delving into the habits of very effective authors you find the same approach from nearly all of them. Yes, there are a few ‘burst’ authors who manage to produce good books in a very short period of time. Many of them admit to total exhaustion afterwards as well as a fervent promise to themselves NOT to try that again.
It’s the same as housekeeping (yeah I know ICK BOO.) You can either work at the house every day, a little bit at a time, or let it pile up to be last minute attacked in a violent burst of where the heck is the vacuum.
Guess which is my housekeeping style?
Closer to my life and my passions, if you’re trying to keep your dog in condition to succeed in competition, either conformation shows (basically beauty contests) or performance events (running, jumping, or displaying their willingness to do what you tell them to do) success is far more within your reach if you work with them every day, not just cram training or conditioning or grooming into the last few days before the event.
That last paragraph was all one sentence. And it made sense. Looks like writing every day has helped me remember how to write.
The same as our legs and backs, our brains are muscles that can become stronger with exercise. And, yes, weaker with inactivity. Again, consistent routine exercise.
When I treat my writing like a job, and show up to work with my brain in gear and ready to produce, it’s far easier to ignore the doubt bullies who tell me I’m not Nora, or Darynda, or Doranna. Because they’re right, I’m not. But I am me; I’m kicking those doubt bullies to the curb and stepping on their squishy bodies on the way back to my book.
Oh, it helps to have one book in publisher edits and another contract on the way. Yes, we can do this.