Guys? I think… I think my block is gone


I don’t want to jinx myself here, so hold on a second while I throw this industrial sized salt package over my shoulder…

… Phew, alright! I’ll clean up all that salt later.

So anyway, yes, the block that I mournfully discussed here is, I believe, gone. I don’t know if writing so pointedly about my block worked some kind of psychological voodoo on it, or if it was the redirection of my attitude, or the fact that I got myself back into a routine, but either way, I’m in a good place. Writing makes me happy again. 🙂

Part of what had blocked me so much was my own perfectionism. I felt pressured to “make it good.” Not to mention how taxing the book already was on me, with its daunting plot and other demands. I was working so hard that I forgot to enjoy myself.

So, what do I enjoy about writing?

  • Playing with phrasing. No, not “perfecting” phrasing, which I had to remind myself. PLAYING. Discovering, trying something new, getting my hands messy. Fingerpainting with words. (Without the goal of cleverness or beauty. Just play.)
  • Immersing myself. Feeling like I’m in my own story, watching it come to life around me while I jot down what I see. Not standing outside with a blueprint, yelling orders at it.
  • Getting to know my characters. Fleshing out their inner selves. Getting down into that deep, raw, human place.
  • Ideas! What would be interesting to do? What would be cool to see? Where would be a surprising place to go next?
  • Laughing. If all fails, crack a joke. 🙂

books46So with that in mind, I opened up my book file, loosened my tie, and jumped into the page like a ball pit.

And I had FUN.

I can’t explain what happened. Somehow, that little reminder nudged my psyche juuust enough to get out of its own way. It wasn’t an instantaneous cure. I’ve had to continually redirect myself. Ask myself,  “What would be fun here? Never mind that partypooping left brain of yours, Shannon, what do you want to do here?”

I also decided to try a wordcount goal. My whole first novel I never wrote with wordcount goals, and I resisted it thus far with my second. Why? Because it’s one of those capital-R “Rules” of writing that everyone likes to yell at people, and I hate that. Also I firmly believe in quality over quantity, but that’s a post for another day. Anyway, I had nothing left to lose, so I gave myself the very comfy goal of 2000 words a week.

And so far, it’s working.

I can’t guarantee that I won’t slip off the wagon, or that my block won’t come back. But right now, I love writing again. I LOVE it. I LOVE IT SO MUCH I COULD MARRY IT!

And you’re all invited to the wedding. 🙂

ringTell me, what do you love about writing?


20 thoughts on “Guys? I think… I think my block is gone

  1. I think part of why I never get writer’s block is the longhanding. I can just write and get it out. When you’re typing, that bright screen drives you to edit and editing while you work is sabotage. Just my little tidbit there. haha So glad for you

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  2. Glad your writer’s block has been lifted! Sometimes I’ll start a new project when I get stuck on one in-progress. (Of course, that pattern may become a chain of unfinished projects; I’m prone to enthusiasm for new ideas I haven’t had a chance to screw up yet.)

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    • Haha, I completely understand that. I wrote a number of short pieces during this block (it lasted a loooong time), which was was really helpful because they reassured me I wasn’t a crap writer, that I could still enjoy writing, and were short enough that I didn’t get too caught up in them.


  3. Aahh… yes. The block always comes from the pressure to “make it good”. I have been drafting my first ever play over the last couple of months and initially found the whole process incredibly daunting. It was only when I allowed myself to write whatever came into my head did the intimidating blank page turn into more of an opportunity than an effort. I do find longhand works best initially for block, and then you can begin the edit on the screen. And suddenly, there it is. Thanks for your comment on my post. And best of luck with your book.
    Tara x

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  4. I think it’s really easy to have periods where writing feels like a chore rather than the epically wonderful voyage of discovery it’s meant to be. When I hit a block these days my main focus is to not beat myself up about it and then I look for a fun way to activate my brain (example being the wife-prompted Shotgun Justice story you so kindly commented on yesterday!). In answer to your question, what I love about writing is simply that it’s cathartic. Putting words on a page makes me feel better every time I do it. There’s also a sense of magic that my brain can form words that someone else can look at, understand and feel something about – whether it’s a story for my kids, a published story or a little-viewed blog post. Glad your block has gone – will look forward to the wedding party 🙂

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    • “There’s also a sense of magic that my brain can form words that someone else can look at, understand and feel something about” – Agreed! All art feels like magic to me. The creation of something from nothing. It’s our own form of sorcery. 🙂


    Personally I struggle off and on with ‘writer’s block’ but it’s more ‘massive self doubt and loss of motivation’. I go through spells where I feel like my writing is absolute crap and I wonder; Why do I bother? But normally something bumps me out. I find the more vocal I am about my passion, the more outside factors help to keep me from stagnating. It’s kind of great.


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    • “I find the more vocal I am about my passion, the more outside factors help to keep me from stagnating.” – That’s interesting, can you elaborate on that? Do you feel like the people around you are more encouraging when they know how passionate you are? Or you subconsciously place yourself in situations that keep you going?

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s more like if I TELL people I’m writing, they often become my source of motivation. They’ll ask how the story is going. They’ll ask when it’s being published. Things like that. If I never told them I was writing, they would never know to ask and I would never have that little outside nudge to keep going, even when I feel like giving up.

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  6. I’m like you. I enjoy playing around with the phrasing. It’s one of my favorite parts about writing XD I’ve gone through periods where I given myself a wordcount goal. It makes me more productive. I’m a perfectionist too, so writing a first draft is always a daunting task because I know it sucks, and it kills me to know that it sucks XD Sometimes I need to take a break from writing. I’ve gone more than a year without it at times, and I’ve only been writing for six years so I guess that is a long hiatus XD I’m distracted easily, which is why I end up reading several books at once. Oooooh, shiny! *runs off*

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