Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Few Words about Writer’s Block

Apparently, my earlier post about having an overabundance of plotbunnies has led some people to believe I’m immune to writer’s block. This is not true.

I do occasionally get that moment in the middle of a story where the words just won’t form in my head. My fingers turn stupid and refuse to cooperate.

There are a lot of reasons that cause this, but rarely is it that the I don’t know what to do with the story. Only one time have I stopped a story because I had no clue at all what else needed to be done and that’s a WIP with less than 500 words written. Usually, my writer’s block is caused by:

1)Thinking and getting wrapped up in chapter five while I’m typing chapter three. My mind has been writing faster than my fingers and I can’t get myself to concentrate on the task at hand. I know what the scene needs to do, but the other scene seems juicier.

2)Life and worries. Did I remember to pay the light bill? What’s that funny pain in my side? Is that the cat getting sick? Did I remember to give Abo is insulin? Why won’t the phone stop ringing? It’s hard to focus on fiction when the real world closes in on you.

3)Not feeling it/Lack of motivation/Discipline problem. Sometimes I’m slacking off and being lazy. Sometimes I’m just not in a sex writing mood. The ideas are running in my head, but I’m not listening to them because the pretty sparklies of the internet are more alluring. Yeah, well tough. This is my job and I need to motivate myself to do it. This is a discipline problem and I know it. Sometimes I muster the self-discipline to do it and sometimes I don’t. I’ve only noticed this problem when I don’t have a contract for a story yet. I think my problem is that I suck with self-imposed deadlines. If the deadline comes from a publisher, I meet it with time to spare. I’ll actually start rushing my editor.

4)Physical/Mental fatigue. After a rough week or day, I’m just too tired to write. As long as this isn’t disguised laziness, I cut myself some slack with this one. But only after I determine that I’m not slacking off.

I think that’s pretty much it.

When I get these moments, here are some of the things I do.

1)Paint my nails. When I look at painted nails over the keyboard, I feel more professional. I can be in my robe and slippers, but I still feel sexier and thus writing erotica is easier.

2)Shower or take a long bath. This is a symbolic way of washing away the day and real life worries. Also, I tend to get a lot of plotbunnies in the shower for some strange reason.

3)Give myself a lecture—that I type out—about the importance of discipline. Sometimes these turn into mini-therapy or cheerleading sessions.

4)Spend some “quality” time alone or with my husband. I’ll let your imagination go from there.

5)Address some of the real life issues so they’ll leave me alone. Check my account and see if I did pay the electric bill. Do some dishes so they’ll stop pestering me. Check on the cat. Etc.

6)Re-read the story from the beginning and use that to get myself back into the scene. Or read someone else’s story and once I start re-writing the story in my head, I know I’m ready to write my own stuff.

7)Take the day off, because every so often we all need a break.

8)Go for a walk.

9)Change my play list and listen to music that’s appropriate for the scene. This helps get me in the mood for whatever. I group my music files according to what kind of scene they’d go with: fight scenes, suspense scenes, romantic scenes, sweet sex scenes, aggressive sex scenes, etc.

10)Refresh my coffee and enjoy a few sips. There’s something about that hot, delicious, dark liquid flowing between my lips and covering my tongue that gets my creative vibe running.

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