Everyone experiences writer’s block at some point. I used to think that it was just me and let it feed my doubt about whether or not I was meant to be writing. I thought that a good writer wouldn’t have such struggles. But as I learned and grew in writing I discovered that what I experience is normal. There is always some point in my writing when I don’t know how to go on. The purpose is to keep my future readers interested, to keep them so engrossed in the story that they won’t put it down, bored with the story and unsure as to whether or not they’ll actually finish the book. These past couple of days I have struggled with moving forward with my current WIP. Perhaps it is due in part to my constant looking ahead. I can’t help but think of the future of the book, the exciting parts that are coming up but not ready to be written yet.
Which is why writing scenes to come in a separate document has always helped me. When I find that I can’t get my mind off of a scene yet to come, I close out the document that makes up the entire novel and open a new one, separated for the purpose of writing future moments of the story. It offers me a way out of the slump, giving me the opportunity to write the scenes that are on my heart and mind. This is the place where I can focus on the development of new characters, ones whose stories are not ready to be told in their entirety. But whose struggles and joys are filling my mind to overflowing. This is what keeps me from moving forward. My mind is a funny thing. It tends to move forward against my will, thinking too far ahead, overwhelming me until I have no choice but to stop what I’m doing and give myself a break.
The most frustrating thing in the world to me are those moments when I sit in front of my computer, just staring. My fingers are poised over the keyboard, my mind rushing with inspiration for what’s to come, but I can’t bring myself to write the words. I want to be so much farther along with the story, I want to be far ahead, with other characters, with tense scenes and romantic moments to come. It’s settling my mind and reminding myself that my characters are right where they’re supposed to be that is hardest for me. Because nothing ever turns out the way I thought it would in my stories. As funny as it may sound, sometimes my characters have a mind of their own and they even surprise me. It proves to me, over and over again, that I never actually know what’s going to happen in my story, and the best part of getting passed writer’s block is discovering where my story intends to take me. Every book is an adventure, every one of them come from my heart and surprising myself is the most satisfying moment of every writing experience I have.
Writer’s block can be infuriating but reminding myself that it will pass is what keeps me going. It keeps me coming back to that blank page, if only to stare at it until the words come. It ignites determination within me, a challenge I must overcome and the moment I gain victory over it fills me with the greatest sense of accomplishment. Conquering the blank page, even with just a sentence or two at first, opens the floodgates to endless possibilities in a brand new story and sets me on the path of a brand new adventure. And each adventure is one I cherish. Because each book is precious to me. My characters are my friends. Letting them down is not an option because letting them down would mean letting myself down, and that is definitely not something I’m willing to do.