Is it writer’s block or just a pause???

While I do have a general outline fleshed out for my sequel to Wendall’s Lullaby, much of the writing I do is organic–it flows and develops and changes as I progress. Small (and sometimes large) parts of the plot change. Characters change. Often I will write like a demon until the words and ideas dry up–full stop. And while I have the outline I can use as a guide to continue, I don’t have the creative energy to catalyze the needed action.

My typical response is to choose from one (or …in a few of) of these methods to revitalize that energy:

  1. Caffeine–strong black coffee or a Celsius energy drink
  2. A Nap–a great way to reset and start fresh. Wow! It’s like a new day! (sometimes assisted by caffeine)
  3. Binge watch movies or TV series
  4. Read–pick up someone else’s book and disappear into the narrative world
  5. Research a topic that might be a little thin in the current work
  6. Exercise more–paddling my surfski, running, strength training or mountain biking
  7. Print and Edit–if I have enough of a work completed, I print out a hard copy and start editing.

book and manuscript on the beachWhile these strategies are often stacked together to help stimulate my creativity, the method I’m focusing on at the moment is Print and Edit. With 44,000 words already written for my sequel to Wendall’s Lullaby, I had plenty to work on–and that’s what I’ve been editing to get back in touch with my fire. I’m tightening things up a little, making a few better word choices, reconciling some inconsistencies that have developed and noting a place or two to work in a new plot element. I’ve even eliminated a character.

I’ve got another hour or so of editing to complete. Once I’m there I’ll go back to the computer and make the changes–including weaving in the new elements. With the clarity editing brings I’ll be charged up and ready to pick up where I paused–with word #44,252–and to get back to the story.


~ by kipwkoelsch on February 20, 2018.

One Response to “Is it writer’s block or just a pause???”

  1. Really useful article and great reminders. I tend to find the hard copy suggestion in #7 works well for me. Working on audiobooks I find that getting a little recorded helps too by getting my narrator’s voice in my head. Fortunately I am able to do that quite easily with ny own recording facilities. I like your suggestion of research – a worthwhile tip when stuck.

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