#Writer’s Block

This is the last blog of a mystery rolling blog tour for Wednesday, July 20th, on the subject of Writer’s Block. Below is my article on Writer’s  Block, followed by information on  the other blogs in this roll. If you haven’t already, please take a moment  to visit the other blogs listed and let us know what you think. Comments are always welcome.

I’ve had times when my brain just would not cooperate as I tried to write. It took me a long time to figure out a way to get around this problem and continue to write. I learned to choose other things to write. If I’m writing a mystery, and my mind refuses to concentrate on the manuscript, I do what one of my writer friends calls ‘pre-writing’. I work on little stories about characters that help me know the character better. Or something about the location. I may describe the hotel in town, or the casino, right down to the color of the carpets and drapes in the rooms. I may concentrate on employees, people who will probably never appear in the book at all.

If all else fails, I choose another book all together, maybe even something in a different genre, and start laying the groundwork for that novel–character profiles, plot outline, research on location and weather.

There’s always something I can write, even if it’s something like this, a blog article. But on those rare occasions when even these things are hard to write, I go to two things: how-to reference books on writing and promoting, and fiction in my genre. Reading will often trigger ideas about my own writing and get me over the hump and back into the groove.

I’ve heard lots of writers who say there’s no such thing as writer’s block. I wonder if that means they have never encountered a time when words just wouldn’t come, or if maybe they overcame it with their own tricks, and because they were able to overcome that ‘delay or thought’, they decided it was never writer’s block in the first place.

Writer’s block is real to me. And I think it’s source, at least sometimes, is the pressure we place on ourselves or others place on us to meet deadlines and set quotas. I realize those things tend to encourage us to keep up the work, but I think there are times when that pressure is just too much and the mind goes on strike.

If you’ve never faced writer’s block, good for you. If your mind ever does go on strike, you might want to try some of my ideas. Or you might just want to give in a take a vacation. What ever you do, just don’t give up. If there’s a book in you, it will come out, and I’ve found that after a little bit of ‘pre-writing’, my mind kicks into overdrive and my fingers can’t keep up.

I hope you have enjoyed my article on Writer’s Block. Below is a complete list of the other blogs participating in to day’s rolling blog tour.

  1. John Hines–www.JohnHines.com
  2. Mollie Cox Bryan–www.MollieCoxBryan.com
  3. Kathleen Kaska–www.KathleenKaskaWrites.blogspot.com
  4. Ryder Islington–www.RyderIslington.wordpress.com

Please join us again Monday when we will be blogging on Genre Bending and Blending. Monday’s roll will start with John Hine’s blog: http://www.JohnHines.com

4 comments on “#Writer’s Block

  1. mollie bryan says:

    I like your suggestions for working on other writing when you are struggling with you WIP. Great post, Ryder.

  2. I like the idea of giving your mind a vacation. A change of scenery often sparks my imagination; hearing a bit of conversation, visiting a new coffee shop, hiking an unexplored trail. But the most important advice I was reminded of is, “. . . just don’t give up.” Great blog, Ryder.

  3. John Hines Jr says:

    I’ve tried the mind-vacation thing. It works for me. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a new route to work, or brushing my teeth in the downstairs bathroom. Anything which alters my perspective seems to help me think around the corners.

  4. Zakgirlsfarm says:

    Loved this post Ryder. Thanks for sharing as always.


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