Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Around the Block

I hear lots of talk about writer’s block and what you should or shouldn’t do to overcome it. 
Most writers tend to agree that you should write through it, however some go with taking a short break to regroup your thoughts.
I guess it’s just me, but I honestly don’t understand the whole block thing.  Maybe I’m fortunate.  But then again, maybe I’ve been there and just didn’t recognize it.  I’ve never really sat in front of the computer and not found the words though.  Maybe that comes from having so little time to actually write that I’ve spend hours upon hours playing all the scenes in my head, just waiting for the time to actually get them all out and onto paper (or file I should say.)  Maybe writer’s block can simply be cured by having a hectic life where you crave the opportunity to write.  That would kinda be nice, because at the rate I’m going I would be destined to never run in to writer’s block at all!
The closest thing to a ‘block’ that I think I’ve had was something more like a low spot in my own personal emotions.  When I get into a place where I’m just feeling blue and frustrated with life then I can’t focus on the emotions of my characters and without focusing on them then I really don’t connect with them.  Besides, when I’m low like that, I’m honestly being a bit self centered and would never do justice to someone else’s story.  I let my characters and my dreams rest at moments like this.  I wait until I can pull out of myself and focus on the emotional roller coaster ride of the paranormal beings that fill my mind with wonder. 
In a way, writing is like a totally cool anti-depressant.  When I’m focused on the trials and highs and lows of these ‘people’ that I think about for months on end it’s really hard to find time to dwell on the little passing lows of real life.  Focusing on their story and seeing it play out in 100,000 words or less is a great reality check for me.  Ok, a paranormal reality check, but still…  It all helps affirm one sentence that I’ve told myself ever since I was young and dealing with medical issues and family issues and the personal frustrations of youth: This too shall pass.  No matter what you’re going through, no matter how high the highs or how low the lows, it will pass.  The whole event could be described in 100,000 words or less, and then be over.  Seeing life like that, in a beautifully scripted novel, somehow makes it all a bit more manageable.
Crazy?  Maybe, but after all, I am a writer.
So, is that writer’s block?  Maybe it is.  I’m not sure.  All I know is that when I’m writing I’m happy.  When I’m not writing I wish I was.  Because somehow writing about their lives makes me appreciate living mine a whole lot more.  When I let my writing go and feel a little selfish, I miss them, I miss focusing on my characters and learning about their lives.  Writer’s block?  Perhaps.  But I don’t worry too much, because I know they’ll call me back to them soon enough.  I’ll remember that there are stories that I don’t know the ending for and I’m the only one who can tell me that part.  So I’ll slap myself silly, metaphorically speaking, and get back to what makes me happy.  Not thinking about me and focusing on them.  Because all too soon, this too shall pass, and I don’t want to miss a single ending to a story that has yet to begin.

Have you been round the ‘block’ a time or two?


Jennifer Hillier said...

I didn't write for about ten years (my entire 20's) and I don't know that I'd call it writer's block... I think I was just generally uninspired in every area of my life. But I have hit walls with my current novels that certainly felt like writer's block. When it happens, I write around the issue, then come back to it. By then, they've usually resolved themselves. But I really don't know if that qualifies as writer's block, either.

Hmmm. Maybe I've never really experienced it. Knock on wood.

Summer Ross said...

Honestly writers block comes to me when I am highly pressured, but if I sit down and just start writing I can usually make some head way.

Julie Geistfeld said...

Thank you Jennifer and Summer for your comments! It's always great to hear from other writers about their experiences.

And Summer, thanks for the new follow!