Happiness, Journal

Getting over writer’s block

I’ve suffered a serious case of writer’s block the last half year. I’ve written, but it’s felt like drawing water from a stone. None of the usual excitement ever came out of it. I tried all my usual tricks for getting in the mood, but nothing worked. I even stopped reading for a while, because it was too difficult to focus.

I believe it was related to being overly stressed in other areas, and I’m out of the woods now. My schedule looks like blue skies for the foreseeable future. I may actually have some semblance of a routine again. It hasn’t looked this sunny in ages!

So to dip my feet back into the pool, I wrote a thing. A very personal short piece of fiction, and one I am too selfish to share right now. FYI it wasn’t fan fiction of any sort, just personal. It went better than I expected. Two hours zipped by in a blink. I haven’t felt that utter absorption in my work for a very long time.

There are some things I can pillage from that exercise, and share. I was helpful to get in touch with some of the things that get my creativity going. I remembered that its all about the characters for me. I’d gotten so lost in plot and structure over the past while, but to me, none of that matters if my characters don’t connect to one another. I like writing about relationships: dysfunctional, platonic, romantic… People are fascinating. And I like exploring culture, how it is expressed, different views of the world.

The dam broke, as I wrote. A bunch of different ideas, sparked off. I remembered why I love writing… and I’m falling back in love again.

I hope I’ll get the first draft of my current novel done soon. Also, I’ll be back to the creature compendium shortly.

May you fall in love, over, and over again.

20 Comments to “Getting over writer’s block”

  1. All I can say is, I HEAR YA SISTAH.

    (Except, you know, I would never *actually* say it. Or at least not like that. :P)

    In all seriousness, I think this is normal (unfortunately) and I find myself going through it in cycles. I’m glad you’re finding your way out to the happier, brighter, wordier side. 🙂

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      I usually do too, but I’ve never had the low point last so long. SO relieved it’s over. OH P.S. I started reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and I LOVE it. I keep giggling to myself as I read. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. That’s great news!

    I think it’s good to realize that there are a lot of different reasons for “writer’s block.” As you said, “I believe it was related to being overly stressed in other areas…” That’s often the case.

    For me I was stuck writing my second novels for a couple of years because there was one plot point I couldn’t solve. I wrote a lot of movie reviews until, one day (in one minute) I came up with the answer. But I wasn’t going to fudge — I was waiting for an answer that really worked.

    My favorite post about writer’s block is here: http://tinyurl.com/dxp2sp8

    1. That is an excellent and very practical blog post! Sometimes it just takes time to come up with a solution. A few years is more than I’d like to wait, but it would be worth it if it was a story I really believed in 🙂

  3. Glad you’re finding your way clear of your writer’s block – and especially that your calendar is finally leaving you a little breathing room.

    Being so super-busy that you don’t have brain-space left for writing is a sad state of affairs… but in my own head I don’t think of that as “writer’s block”. Rather, I think of that as just plain old, ordinary exhaustion. I’ve heard often things like “{insert profession here} doesn’t get {insert profession here}’s block, so why do writers get writer’s block?”. But the truth is, I think, all professionals in any field can get worked to the point of exhaustion (though that point varies by person and profession). That’s different than saying something like “my muse isn’t working today” or giving some other excuse for why you’d rather be doing anything else. Physical and mental exhaustion are very real problems.

    1. Yes that’s very true, and that’s exactly why we get paid vacation time. It’s even more of a problem when writing is already a second job or third job (after family), and there’s less mental/physical capacity left over. Sometimes we have other priorities, and sometimes it’s difficult to balance everything.

      1. Amen to the “second or third job” comment. I sometimes get just a teensy bit annoyed at the “writer’s write” and “butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard” mantras that often get repeated. It’s good advice, as far as that goes… but when writing is in fact, a second or third job, it has to take back seat to other priorities. And for a lot of us, sadly, that means day jobs and families and other things come first. We don’t often have the luxury of choice about when there’s time to sit down and write.

      2. Ah, there’s the problem: it’s that I am an idiot. My memory was all dumbified, and I kept thinking the Unicorn post was the most recent (after Bunyip), so I scanned the list on the Categories page quickly and the word “unicorn” didn’t pop out at me (since I was expecting to see it at the top of the list).

  4. That’s awesome, Teresa. I know sometimes we get so caught up in the mechanics of learning the craft that the joy can get lost in the mix. Congrats on finding your once again. Can’t wait to see what comes of the sparks.

  5. How exciting! You’re always such an inspiration, Theresa. 🙂

    Lately, over the past couple of days, I’ve been more distracted from the WIP than suffering from writer’s block. Kinda met someone…lol.

    Well, let’s just say this is a new problem for me!

    Luckily this person regularly expresses interest in my progress without being a Nazi about it, lol, so I can’t use this as an excuse. Just gotta get my head back in the game & make up for lost time.

    Though, having this deadline set, I’m still determined not to let little set-backs keep me from reaching my goal. 🙂

  6. Glad to see you’ve got things flowing again. My droughts happen in terms of weeks. It’s going on three weeks of nothing – but I’m busy with reading ARCs and stuff for fellow writer friends. Hopefully inspiration will strike again.

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