Fixing Writer’s Block for Good!
I was scrounging around the internet the other day, and came across a rather sizable number of beginning writers who were complaining about ‘Writer’s block.’ Writer’s Block is when you can’t think of anything to write.
With over 100 books to my credit, with over 3 million words written, I have never, ever, once experienced writer’s block. Of course, I have a secret.
The Secret Behind Writer’s Block
When something starts to dry up I can feel it, and I immediately go back to where I left my train of thought. When the water dries up there is a crimp in the hose. Go back and straighten it out.
Yes, it really is that simple.
Now, I have written and reached a point where I didn’t think what I was writing was worth it, and stopped. But that is not writer’s block, that is a decision not to waste my time. And you have to be pretty good at self-editing to reach that point.
But the point is this: somebody has a great idea (we assume) and is hot on it. Suddenly, it all stops, as if it never was. But it’s not that it never was…it’s that the writer took a left turn, had a bright idea, and somehow left the train of the original concept. Oops.
How do you know when you’ve left your idea? And the major thrust of your story?
You don’t. All you have to do, when everything dries up, when the fingers stop maniacally pounding without any c concern for you or life or anything, is go back.
Go back a paragraph. Be honest with yourself. Did you have an idea at some point? Did you get a little too clever? Did you originate a thought, instead of just letting the flow go? No? then go back two paragraphs. A page. Ten pages.
There is it. You found it. Now delete everything past that left turn and restart from that point.
And, if you don’t have full confidence in your editing eye, simply cut and paste that section at the end of your book so you can have it saved, and look at it later, after you have rewritten.
I’ve deleted over 60 pages. Killed me, but I knew what the book wanted, and I knew what I wanted, and I had to put myself on delete and get back to the idea of the book.
And, just to let you know, while I was doing this ever since I started writing, it took me a while to figure out what I was doing, and start doing it consciously.
Now it’s second nature. Easy peasy. But beginning writers have to be very nitpick in doing this, and they have to be willing to put themselves, and bright ideas on how cool this or that would be, on hold for the sake of the book.
I’ve got other tips on how to write in the book: How to Teach How to Write (The Write Way)
Have a great write!
Al Case (author of Monkeyland)