How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

Calvin and Hobbes Comic © Bill Waterson

Now… if you have a sense of humor that is at all like mine, you read this cartoon and laughed for about five minutes…then cried because it’s really NOT funny when you are a writer experiencing “Writer’s Block”.

And I spent a great deal of time arguing with myself about Writer’s Block.

  • Is it really a good idea to seek publication if I’m just going to get hung up with writer’s block?
  • Am I really a good writer if writer’s block can hang me up for days…even weeks sometimes?

And the all important one…

  • What do I do about writer’s block? How do I work around it… or get past it… or better yet, punch through it?

Well, in the end what I did was sort of like working around it and sort of like punching through it but mostly it was ignoring it…

I went to a different part of my manuscript and worked there. This has actually become my go-to any time I get stuck. I go somewhere else.

Eventually the muse calls you back to the part where you left off.

There have even been times when I ended up changing the story just enough that I ended up deleting the part that was giving me so much trouble. And boy was I thrilled I had not let it hang me up then.

One way or another, I KEEP WRITING! And that has made all the difference.

Way back when, years and years ago when I started writing, I let a block stop me. I let it get in my way and keep me from writing. I would spend days and days staring at the computer screen. I would find a million and one things to do to distract myself from how lost I was. I would use any excuse to avoid my computer. I would put aside perfectly good stories just because I had reached… “the block”.

And then I realized that I was not being a writer. I was being a wimp!

So I figured out a way to fix it! I persevered. I pushed on! And I have had some measure of success because I’ve written two novels now in their entirety and three others that are almost done!

I have not let go of the first because I truly, in my heart of hearts believe that it belongs on that seemingly unattainable platform where sit the greats! And most of them are not Christian fiction but there are some that sort of qualify because of the constraints with which their genre or their author writes anyway – they just weren’t advertised that way.

But it’s the story everyone loves. It has everything the “greats” have… supernatural powers, an epic war, battles involving extreme acrobatics and use of those supernatural abilities, an internal struggle as well as external, etc…

There are things that are parallels but not very similar at all to the greats, Gwyn’s personal shield is an intricate network of tattoos, most of the “dialogue” is actually internal as they communicate telepathically, our “bad guys” are aliens!

And then there are the things that make it unique; it’s written about a mom who starts out in her mid thirties (not a teenager), her biggest struggle (mostly internal) is trying to get back to her children, her mysterious trainer/handler/mentor does not use wise quips to inspire her on and he doesn’t have a strange name – in fact in book 1 we don’t even know his name.

So I keep going. I’ve ignored everyone who tells me to stick this first book in a drawer because I believe it has potential. But I’m not just spending time on this one. I’m working on other projects at the same time. I’ve written the beginning, middle and end of book 2 and started working on projects under my other name as well because I have to keep moving forward or I’ll never get anywhere.

But I am also not giving up!

I am never going to let writer’s block stop me again! If someone puts one on my desk, I will move it or work around it or find another desk!

What about you?

© JC Morrows 2014

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