Last night I suffered from a tremendously bad headache. I layed in bed pretty much from 6:00 until 10:00. And given that my husband had to work and my three little girls were home with me, this wasn’t a good thing.
I do give them kuddos though. They were SO good to me. They played quietly and my eldest daughters (age 8 and 5) pitched in to keep my youngest (3) occupied and entertained. When the blinding pain finally reduced a little, I got up and found all three children asleep in the living room with the end of a DVD going. It was so cute. I felt horribly guilty, and before you think how aweful a parent I am, I was awake for those 4 hours, listening to them to make sure they didn’t need me, just sitting in the room with the light out.
Needless to say, this is now how I planned to spend my evening. My hope was to play with them for a while, then get them occupied so I could get more writing done.
But sometimes circumstances are out of our control, and we have a road block.
There are many other things that come up to block our greatest intentions. Sometimes it isn’t physical, but mental. Have you ever sat down to write and you just couldn’t? No coherent words would come and your story just seemed… blah? Then you write a paragraph and reread it and think, “How aweful was that!”
*raising my hand* I DO I DO!
I don’t have a cure for physical roadblocks (except for a hefty dose of pain killers…) but for these mental roadblocks, here are a few things that I do:
1.) Write anyway. Even if the paragraph is horrible so many times the stinkiest writing might spark a little idea to move my story forward and recharge a lagging scene.
2.) Review where you’ve been. Have you veered off the path into writer’s block land?
3.) If you answered YES to #2, you can do one of two things. You can plant a bomb, run for your life, and blow through that writer’s block with a big ole chunk of new conflict. This mught come by a new subplot, or a new minor character, or just a mean, evil author doing something horrible to their main character. OR… you can shift into reverse, find where you took a wrong turn, and start over back at that point.
4.) Talk it out. I do this with my hubby a LOT. Even if he doesn’t respond, there’s just something about explaining what’s going on with my book to a LIVE person that makes my brain wheels start turning. (even though they are turning very painfully today…)
5.) Go have some chocolate. I said this vs. taking a break, because I think if we just allow ourselves to take a “break” until the muse restarts… the break might last longer than needed and curve over into avoidance. But… if you get out of your chair, go get you some chocolate and maybe a coke (can you tell I have a headache?!?) and then come back… you’ve had a little time away, a little pick me up, and can come back with renewed eyes.
The most important thing is: DON’T GIVE UP.
Discussion: What are some roadblocks you’ve encountered lately with your writing?