Goooood morning, gentle viewers, and welcome to today’s edition of Sunday, My Prints Will Come! In which Emmie discusses blockages — and not the kind you battle with Metamucil.
All writers know that sense of despair that comes from looking at a blank screen and having a blank brain to match. Sometimes you’ll be flying through a story at NaNoWriMo speeds, past 10,000; 20,000; 30,000 words. And then?
So you sidle over a little, and then a little bit more. Pretty soon you’re doing a hop-scotch of a sidestep trying to find out where the edge of the wall can be found. Then you go back the other way, but to no avail.
You want to go forward. On the other side of the bricks, you know there are things like exciting fight scenes and you weren’t going to use staring to communicate anything at all.
You bang your fists against the brick once, but of course your fists come out second best. You hit it again. And again. And again.
Pretty soon you’re banging away, and all you’ve got are bloody fists.
You try to distract yourself, because hey, cake!
But once you’ve eaten all the cake, the wall is still there in front of your face.
It even shows up at parties and social gatherings. It shows up when you’re talking to your in-laws about how your boss hates you and you’re scratching your head because they think you should have a better job. It shows up when you’re cooking dinner and you get so mad that you manage to burn the broccoli.
And worst, when you sit down to write, it wedges itself between you and your open Scrivener document. Or Squidoo lens. Or WordPress blog post.
“Just write ten words,” you tell yourself. “Then you can go on Twitter and talk about Rocky Horror Picture Show and superpowers!”
So you write two words. “That’s good enough, right?” And off to Twitter you go.
There’s only so much Twitter and cake you can take before you start to realise that you haven’t written more than two words at a time in five days. And when you remember that NaNoWriMo is, in actuality, right around the corner instead of simply being a handy metaphor for the flurry of writing you’re NOT doing, you start to bang your head into that wall o’ brick.
Here’s the secret about writer’s block. This secret is the only reason this blog post is happening right now and that you didn’t just get a random picture of my dog today.
The battering ram to get through that damn brick wall is writing.
I know. It’s the most annoying secret in the world, and it’s disingenuous to boot. The worst kind of secret. But it’s true.
Write about anything. Write about writer’s block, like I’m doing now. Write about how annoyed you are that you stepped in dog poo and tracked it into work. Write about brussels sprouts. Write about how much you need coffee. Write about your cat chasing a bug. Write, write, write, just bloody write already.
Every word that hits the page chips away at that wall of bricks.
If you can’t move forward on your WIP, start something different write a short. Write a poem. Write an article. Write a political diatribe. Write about your love of socks and woolly jumpers.
If you just write, and I just write, then the brick wall will come tumbling down. You don’t have to clap your hands and make a fairy fart or pen the next Great Whatevery Whosit with your toes. You just have to write.
And here’s a random picture of my
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