“Writer’s Block: Derailment, Lack of Motivation, or What?”
Today, I thought I’d speak on a topic that many writers know about—writer’s block.
There are two common thoughts on writer’s block. Either it exists or it doesn’t. Those who say it’s real can tell you how their writing suffers from it. The other school, the one I belong to, believes that it’s not a block, but something else. For me, it’s usually a lack of motivation or a derailment.
Derailment. An unusual way of putting it, but essentially it’s when I steer away from the plot or some other aspect of the story. As a former pantser, I plot loosely allowing myself to venture off track. Sometimes, however, I go too far left. When I do, the story stalls. If I can’t figure out what’s going on, I lose the motivation.
So what do I do when these moments happen?
Sometimes it’s a simple act of doing another activity. I might binge-watch a program on Netflix, read a book, or even spend the time making teasers. I’ve learned not to worry about the process. The worse thing that happens is my schedule changes a bit. I might have to double up on my writing for a few days.
This has happened a couple of times while drafting Bitter Fruit. Two weekends in a row I’ve put the rough draft down and indulged in a little me time in front of the television. I got a little stuck because the story developed on paper slightly different than how I planned.
I’ve finished Act One and started Act Two. I’m at the point where the story picks up and I have to craft carefully so that the story continues to flow. I’ve allowed my characters to entertain possible dialogue. I think I’m recharged and ready to hit it anew this week. If not? I’ll do another activity until I’m ready.
The important thing to remember is that this isn’t rocket science but it’s not surgery either. A little derailment is good for the soul and the story. A little lack of focus brings clarity sometimes. In the end, readers get a well-thought out story.
If you’re a writer, do you believe in writer’s block? How do you deal with it?