Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Writer's Block Is a Crock!

Greetings from Texas on this cool, cloudy day--perfect for snuggling down with a good book, quiet music, and a cup of hot whatever. Personally I'm currently reading Francine River's Redeeming Love. Okay, so I'm slow getting to it, but when you read manuscripts from daylight until dark, you don't always have a chance to read for fun and pleasure. So far it's everything the great reviews have said about it. I want to grow up and be just like Francine someday. What about you?

Thanks to all of you who sent me notes of congratulations and good wishes on this new adventure of mine into blogworld. It's been fun so far, and I look forward to our continuing relationship and interaction.

I’m often surprised at the misconceptions I see about writers and writing in writers’ magazines, books on writing, workshops, and seminars. After twenty-five years as an author and managing editor, I have developed my own opinions about some of these issues, which I will share with you over time. You, of course, have a right to your own opinions too. It will be interesting to hear your responses. So come on in, the water's fine.

Writer's Block Is a Crock!
In my personal experience of creating more than a hundred books, and in my studied opinion, people who use writer’s block as an excuse for not writing either didn’t have anything worthwhile to say in the first place, or perhaps they did inadequate dreaming and planning before they began to write. As most editors agree, it seems easy for an author to create a great beginning and a powerful ending, but keeping up the powerful writing for two hundred pages in the middle is much more difficult.

Your English teacher was right--outlining before you write is a valuable tool. Even the Bible says, "If you want to build a tower, you first sit down and decide how much it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job. If you don't you might lay the foundation, but you would not be able to finish" (Luke 14:28-29 NCV). In our case we don't run out of money; we run out of ideas, concepts, and words unless we plan well at the beginning.

Still, if you believe you have writer's block, then you are stymied, even if writer's block is a crock. So here are some practical ways to . . .

Blast Past the Block!

• Start at the beginning of your work and read/scan to where you stopped. This often renews your imagination and gets your juices flowing again.

• Rework the last few paragraphs or pages you wrote to get your head back into the work or story.

• Call a couple of fellow writers and talk through your work, asking them where they think the material could go next. Even if you don't use their ideas, the discussion may get your creativity in gear.

• Call your editor and talk through the work, asking for professional input.

• Set your work aside for a day (or a week); then come back to it with fresh energy. The mental break may refresh your creative energy.

Have a great week! I'll be playing ball with Jazz. :) Do you want to play?


Next time?

"Your Editor: Dream or Nightmare?"


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