Posts Tagged: writer’s block

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 25

YOU AND YOUR CHARACTERS My writing flows best when the outside world and its possible critics do not enter my creative space. I’m alone with my characters. I am only thinking of them, and the world we’ve created together. That said, the author has to learn to be a “good parent” and listen carefully to… Read more »

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 22

The sign over my computer, DON’T THINK, (Tip 18) should be revised according to Michelle Ray’s simple but brilliant tip, below. Her tip sounds almost impossible to accomplish, but in practice, it isn’t. I do what she suggests all the time and am always amazed at the results – more times than not, reasonably good… Read more »

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 18

DON’T THINK. It is said that Ray Bradbury had that sign above his desk. I’m not sure exactly what it meant to him, although I can imagine. I put up that sign, too. To me it means DON’T THINK about anything else except the children’s book I am trying to write. DON’T THINK about what’s… Read more »

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 17

THE IMAGINATION Sometimes a concept is so startlingly true it takes my breath away. Here is a quote from A.O. Scott in this morning’s NYT: “…the imagination lives by risk, including the risk of incomprehension.” Creating requires taking a scary leap. You can’t worry about whether the work is good, bad, indifferent, critic-proof, or even… Read more »

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 15

GET AWAY: Part 2 Get away from your manuscript. Literally and forever. Sometimes writers are struggling with the wrong project. Sometimes they slave unhappily over The Thing that’s holding them back, every now and then attempting “other Things” to relieve the pain. Sometimes enough is enough. Not only that, sometimes one of those other Things… Read more »

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 12

THE APPETITE COMES AS YOU EAT, is what the French say, although I’m pretty sure they say it in French. I’ve had the experience of not being hungry until my appetite is whetted by the taste of the food. I’ve had the same experience with writing–I think I’m not hungry to write, and gain momentum… Read more »

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 14

GET AWAY This can mean anything you want it to mean: putting aside your manuscript for a while, taking a nap, going for a walk to clear your head. Then there are the absolute luxuries, for instance, a vacation. The ultimate luxury, for me, is a writer’s retreat. I once holed up at Ragdale (Google… Read more »

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 13

UNDERSTAND YOUR BLOCK I think it’s truly important to understand why you are not writing at a particular period in your life, and gain some compassion for yourself while coming to this understanding. There may be a need to stop disappearing into your work. Everyone’s need is probably different: I stopped writing for a while… Read more »

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 11

READING FOR VOICE Many advice-givers tell writers to just forge ahead when writing the first draft, not stopping to correct and/or change. I agree. But if my story is character-driven (which it almost always is) characters have distinctive “voices”. So every morning I skim what I’ve already written, to review the tone and cadence of… Read more »

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 10

WRITING IS CIRCULAR, NOT LINEAR. I read linearly: Beginning, Middle, End. But the writing of my rough drafts is not a linear process. Some of my early chapters eventually end up at the end of my manuscript, and vice versa. Sentences, paragraphs, whole sections switch places with one another. Awareness of this circular, fluid process… Read more »