OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
This is a guest post from Leanne Dyck, author of The Sweater Curse. I'm not personally into knitting, but I know a lot of crafty people are these days!
Piss off! You heard me. Leave. I don’t want you around. I don’t have anything for you—no money, no booze, no nothin’. Isn’t it bad enough that I’m trapped in this tin piss can without you tormenting me? I don’t need you. I don’t need anyone. I’m just fine on my own, thank you very much. I don’t need your help. I don’t need your pity. If you stay, one of the two of us is going to get hurt and I can guarantee it won’t be me. So get the hell out of my house! Why are you still here? Are you deaf, dumb, and stupid?
He found the note on the breakfast table. There it was beside his scrambled eggs and toast. He picked it up and read it out slowly. It was Saturday—he had the time.
He smiled. Smiled—at such a note? Was he insane?
Maybe. He did, after all, love a writer. That required some degree of insanity.
Yes, he smiled. He smiled because he knew her writer’s block was over. The clouds had lifted. The sun shone. The birds sang. All was right with the world. His wife was back at work. She had once again found her muse.
“Did you read it?” she enquired, with a kiss.
“Um, yes, well, yes. I did.”
“Well, what do you think?” she beamed inquisitively.
“It’s rather, well, strong.”
“Yes, I know, isn’t it? I’m not sure where it fits yet. Sometimes it’s like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. Only you don’t have to find all the corner pieces first. You just have to find a piece.”
Yes, he had to admit, it did help to be a little insane.
Oh, yes I’m very familiar with writer’s block. So, familiar, am I, in fact, that I’ve devised ways and means to overcome it. These strategies have worked for me—I hope they work for you.
Release: One word leads to another. So grab a pen and write the first thing that comes to your mind—how cute your boyfriend looks in jeans; what you love about your new job; the weather. Write.
While you write, don’t worry about word count, grammar or spelling. Simply allow words to pour out of your pen uncensored. The only goal here is to relax and release.
Pep talk: It’s often beneficial to seek the advice of others who’ve faced the same obstacle. So, talk with or read the books of fellow writers to discover their strategies. Helpful books are Steven King’s On Writing, James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure, Nancy Lamb’s The Art and Craft of Storytelling.
Set goals: As a member of a critique group, my self-imposed expectation is that I have something to share at each meeting. If I don’t, my peers will know. For me, this external means of accountability is a strong motivator. Other sources of motivation may be a daily word count or a weekly blog post.
Change of scenery: Sometimes unblocking can be as easy as going for a walk. Physical exercise allows my brain to work, while the rest of me is otherwise engaged.
If I consciously think about my writing at all, I focus on my reader. I have to write—I don’t want, I can’t disappoint them. They’re counting on me. I return to my project refreshed and ready to write.
All writers face it, you will overcome it—believe in yourself.
Leanne Dyck is the author of The Sweater Curse available on Amazon and Smashwords.
Aspiring knitwear designer Gwen Bjarnson is stuck in Purgatory. To escape, she must re-examine her life, journey through her past and right a wrong.** But which wrong?** Young and in love, she works to establish her career, except fate has different plans. One rash act and she loses everything. Never resting, always seeking, and yearning for what she can no longer have, Gwen faces the truth: if she remains, others are destined to die. How will she solve the mystery before it is too late?
More about Leanne Dyck at OKnitting.com