Posts Tagged: writing process

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 20

SAME OLD, SAME OLD I think of writing as a meditative state, where you enter a contemplative place that is still and quiet, even if the actual setting is noisy. And for a children’s author, it’s often easier to access a feeling and a voice, consistent with the age of your main character, while in… 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 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 »

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 9

WRITE LIKE ERNEST HEMINGWAY: Not what you think… One of the best tips I know is his: he used to stop his writing for the day just when things were going well. The next day he’d just pick up at that point and not have to wonder what to write. After that, the writing flowed…. Read more »

How to Conquer Writer’s Block: Tip 8

KNOW YOUR OWN PROCESS I’m always examining my writing process, my very own psychology of writing. I believe every writer’s process is unique. I’ve learned to pay attention to aspects of my day, my mood, my environment, my habits that increase my productivity and/or enjoyment of my work. I look for patterns. I seem to… Read more »