My Top Five Tips for Beating That Blocked Feeling
I was asked recently on Goodreads about that nightmare situation, the thing every writer dreads – block. After I had answered, I got to thinking about the issue in more detail and how I deal with it in different ways. Here are some suggestions that might help you out if you find yourself in a similar bind.
If you’ve got one fan, or one million fans out there waiting with bated breath for your next book, it can start to feel a tad overwhelming. What if they don’t like the new story? What if they class you as a one-trick pony? What if, what if, what if. It’s hard, but you have to put it out of your mind and accept that; as with most things some people are gonna love it, some are gonna merely like it and you gotta let the haters hate. You know. Shake it off.
Bah. I’m considering renaming myself, adding ‘Impatience’ as my middle name so people can be forewarned. Sometimes, the story is coming so fast my hands cannot keep up as I type and my annoyance gets in the way of the writing. Sometimes, I want to start another project but feel I should wrap up the one I was working on first. Feel free to hopscotch between things. It keeps your mind fresh, allows your subconscious to come up with new ideas and relaxes you to do what you fancy.
3. Other projects on the mind
This can be the absolute worst. Writing stories isn’t my only job – I also write copy, create content for a host of websites and manage a high-flying company’s social media. Sometimes, all that writing can burn me out. My fingers cease to be capable of even typing – especially typing any recognisable language. It can effect my mind as well, exhausting my creative energy until there is none left to expend on Pangaea’s worlds. At this point, I have to hit refresh. Get outside, experience life a little and recharge my brain.
4. Complete, mind dulling, blankness
Ah yes. White paper fear. Blank sheet panic. You know what I do when I have the story sort of lurking at the back of my mind, but no concrete idea on how to start it? I start from the end. Then I might do a few chapters at the beginning. Then I tend to fill out the middle, content that I know where the characters have come from and where they are going. I did Air Riders like this and Fire Dancer looks like it’s going the same way.
5. The story not working out how you planned
This one’s kind of funny. I mean, you put in all that effort to plan, figure out the how, the why, the where and then your character goes off and does something else. You can spend hours trying to rein them back in, force them into it…but we all know that’s not going to work in the end. Let the character ramble about, do what they please and use your plan as more of a rough guide. Just think – once your character is giving you attitude, you have definitive proof that they’ve come to life and are no longer languishing in 2D on the page.