N-6 Respecting Writer's Block
With only six days to go before we officially start, I wanted to talk about something that I am sure that all of have experiences at one time or another--Writer's Block. Unlike Ms. Morrison, I do believe writer's block exists. I've experienced it enough to know that it's real. And let's be honest, there is NOTHING worse than sitting down and wanting to work and have one of several things happen:
- The idea was hot and now is coming out as lukewarm to freezing drivel.
- The idea won't even start.
- The idea peters out.
- The Editor starts (I will address The Editor in another discussion because he or she deserves his or her own discussion).
The final part of Ms. Morrison's statement: "You shouldn’t write through it. It’s blocked because it ought to be blocked, because you haven’t got it right now” is glaringly true. Sometimes instead of writer's block, I will call it mental constipation, because that's really what it feels like. Something is junking up the system and won't let what you want to have come out, come out.
And I am sure this is going to happen to some of us to varying degrees during the next month. Heck, you might be having it right now.
First, know you are not alone. We've all be there. Something is blocking us from coming out with it. It could be emotional, it could be psychological. It could just be that your brain hasn't made the connections you need it or want it to make before you are able to get it out. You will know this is happening when it happens. It just feels wrong.
So what do you do? Well, since there's a time constraint on NaPlWriMo, you have a couple choices--you can stop or you can plow through. Plowing through is something I usually do until I've frustrated myself to the point of no return almost. Usually plowing through helps. Do some character work. Maybe you have the wrong person telling the story. It's been known to happen. Maybe the story isn't right for the characters you are working with. I had a play once that I was writing with a brother and sister as the characters and it wasn't working. Then I realized the brother should have been a sister and the play bloomed. Sometimes you just have to listen to what you characters are telling you.
If it happens, post about it. Let us know. We might be able to help.
Do remember, this is a first draft challenge. It doesn't have to be perfect--if you're incredibly lucky or have sold your soul to the devil, you might get a pretty perfect draft out of it. Mostly you will write crap, and don't let that stop you.
Naplwrimo runs on love, sweat and your generous help.
Thank you to our donors!
Machelle Allman, Holly Arsenault, Will Bond, Karen Chandler, Michael Lee, Leslie Liautaud, Jeff Mackey, Maggie McAleese, Marian McNamee, Marla Porter, and all our anonymous donors.