Writer’s Block

Fictitious wall that writer’s blame for trouble.  That would be my definition.  And if it doesn’t exist how can it block anyone?  Well it’s not real, but writer’s worlds aren’t real either.

[Writer’s Stuff] [About Cat Hartliebe]
There are several reasons as to why a writer says they have writer’s block.  Most of them will not stop the professional writer.  Actually I can think of only one reason that would deny a professional writer the ability to write and they will try their hardest to break the block anyway because it’s their income and their work.  What would that be, you ask?  Depression.

When a writer gets depressed, truly depressed, they suffer across the board.  It’s debilitating.  I know because I’ve gone through it.  One of the best ways to push someone out of depression is to get them to create.  Everyone can write so it can be a safety net for many battling depression.  As a person facing depression alone, writing may not be enough.  But if that person has several someones pushing them, writing can be the easiest thing to climb out from the deep, dark hole where depression lurks.  It’s a very slow process, though.  If you’re helping a writer climb out realize, one word can be the difference between thinking of death and planning it.

Every other reason can be worked around.  One reason would be a planner stuck at a pantser’s point.  Planner cannot handle just writing without a plan, but in writing there are points you have to.  Sometimes planning will not help; you just have to write it out.  It’s tough to counter your normal routine when writing.  But not impossible.  Say it with me: It’s not impossible.  To become a great writer you need points of both Planner and Pantser.  That’s why George R R Martin called them Gardener and Architect.  Because those two have both options and just lean toward one or the other.

Same thing for a pantser.  There are points where without a plan you’re stuck.  You may still write, but it’s nonsense that will be removed in edits.  If you want to pants properly and not have all that extra fluff, you will plan at points.  It may not be a complex plan, but things you need to know and places your characters need to go and plot points they have to deal with.

Writer’s block can be a way of saying it looks too hard.  Or I’m too lazy.  Or I’m too tired.  Or…  Do you see it being just an excuse here?  This is something a writer who writes little would say.  They aren’t in the habit and use the term writer’s block to keep it that way.  None of these can stop a real writer.

Writer’s block is in your mind.  Not sure what to do about it?  Try writing an “extra scene”, like what would your character do at an ice cream parlor, fighting a T-Rex, or spotting a rainbow in the sky.  These “extra scenes” help you understand the characters and how they react to the environment you flung them in.

Another way to attack writer’s block is to return to planning phrase.  Just for a little while.  The extra scene would more than likely be better than straight out planning, but perhaps it’s something small you missed between the first and second act.  A little bit of planning can go a long way, but keep it timed, so you don’t waste time.

A third way could be reread until you find the point that’s causing the problem.  Try hitting enter a few times and writing from that point.  It could make the difference.  Because all stories can end with rocks fall everyone dies, but no one would want to read the stories then.

The final method I offer is to just start writing the story.  Yes it’s a pantser answer, but it’s also the best option.  You’d be surprised how many answers you can come up with for your characters off the top of your head.  It’s a first draft anyway.  You will be editing, so you can change it later if it doesn’t work.

This imaginary problem could be an underlying condition, so be wary of depression named writer’s block.  Otherwise, fight.  You can break down the wall.  I mean, it’s only in your head anyway.


[Writer’s Stuff] [About Cat Hartliebe]

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