Reading & Writing

How to Get Through a Writer’s Block (or, How to Be a Healthy Writer)

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For writers of all genres, “writer’s block” is as inevitable as death and taxes.

All artists experience this. The brain needs its rest, the muses need their vacations, and everyone who’s ever been serious about creative endeavors has sat staring at a blank page, canvas, brick wall, stage or computer page and thought, “I can’t do this.”

But did you notice that I put “writer’s block” in quotation marks? That wasn’t a typo. I “know” how to “use” “quotation marks.”

Seriously, though: I believe that the phrase “writer’s block” is a crutch we use to make our creative clogs seem more serious than perhaps they are. I’ve known writers who treat it as an illness; when they’re blocked, they can do little more than sit around drinking soup and binge-watching Netflix. They spend a lot of time nursing themselves back to health, so to speak. This can last indefinitely.

Of course (to extend my metaphor) there are people who vegetate through an illness and there are those who just keep truckin’. Then there are those of us who used to vegetate but have had to learn to push through. Continue reading “How to Get Through a Writer’s Block (or, How to Be a Healthy Writer)”

Reading & Writing

NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt: Go Somewhere Beautiful

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We are smack in the middle of NaNoWriMo, and by now you’re probably getting tired. Maybe you know where your plot is going; maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re getting a little sick of your characters, or you feel like you’re just a robotic typing machine and writing has become little more than a chore you grudgingly get through each day. Maybe you’re thinking that NaNoWriMo is a joke, and whatever reasons you had to start this challenge now seem thin and brittle.

You could quit. Popular wisdom aside, quitting is ALWAYS an option. You didn’t pay anything to do this (unless you donated, but that’s a charitable thing, not an entrance fee) and unless you’ve plugged into the network of NaNo enthusiasts (which it’s never too late to do), no one is really expecting you to finish.

Self care is important. If it’s killing you, why continue?

But is it really killing you? Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt: Go Somewhere Beautiful”

Reading & Writing

NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt: Get Your Protagonist in Trouble

IMG_0659Here you are, typing away, the words flowing out of you because you are a writer and you’re devoted to your craft and you are going to be the next Pulitzer Prize winner and this might be the novel to do it when—

SCREECH!

You hit a writer’s block.

These things happen. Normally, you might move on to another project or wait a few days or take in a movie or read a book–whatever you need to get inspired again. But it’s NaNoWriMo. You made a promise to yourself. You’ve got a word count to fulfill. Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Writing Prompt: Get Your Protagonist in Trouble”