Sunday, July 20, 2014

How I LOST my writing mojo... and what it felt like when it came back

A few posts back I talked about being in a bit of a writing slump, triggered around the middle of my novel, well, thank god, after some awesome advice from my writing bud Rosanna Silverlight who reminded me the importance of carving out time from trying to write, and with the daily inspiration of CampNaNoWriMo, I am well on my way to finishing my novel (at 72,500 words yay, first draft almost complete!).

A couple of things I have learnt about writers block:

  • It sucks the life out of you (a given)
  • You sit down to write every day, like usual, but every single word you type is like trying to scale Mount Everest with a freight train strapped to your back, and it all looks and feels like utter SHIRT (without the R).
  • It is often your novel trying to tell you something, and if you scratch beneath the surface you can learn a few things: maybe its your novel telling you it wants to go in a different direction, or in my case, that my ending needed to change to fit with who my main character had developed in to.
  • If you sit down with a pencil and paper (which I LOVE to do, that scratchy sound is like cuddling into a warm blanket on a rainy day with the fire blasting, it is so comforting) and not plan a thing to write, and just let yourself go crazy, writing whatever comes to the top of your head: you'll find some nuggets of pure gold. For me, writing in pencil takes the pressure off, I can scrub it out with an eraser and poof terrible sentence is gone; it is liberating and allows me to write with reckless abandon.
  • Coming out the other side of writers block, is like finally seeing the light after being buried six feet deep in life-sucking flimsy story-lines that make even you, the author, recoil at having to read it. But once that light shines down, and you grab a hold of that fresh idea, or sentence that made you remember why the hell you were writing your story in the first place, it breathes life into your story, and gives you the second chance to write, write, write until the story comes in a fitful of words that fly from the tips of your fingertips. And you can finally sigh a "thank god" as you realize, hell yes, it's all coming together now. 

Susan Dennard has done a fabulous series on writers block that I would recommend to all, I think the best nugget of information comes in lesson 3, where Sooz talks about the Science of Fear from the book Maximize Your Potential, which states "When we think about risks, we think about failure. When we think about failure, we start to get scared. When we start to get scare, our brains send signals to get the hell out of there."  You may think, well yeah, that's only relevant to being attacked by a lion back in the day, but no, our brain processes fear the same way for non-physical threats as it does for the physical ones! Head over to Sooz's blog to learn about recognising your fears and what you can to do about it. It will be worth your time!

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