“The things that block a writer are not the lack of words, but the same things that block all people – the difficulties of life.” ~ Max Apple
There are days when I just can not get out of my own head. Not because I am immersed in my characters and their subsequent world like they are Angelina and Brad. Nor because my head keeps hitting that peripheral writers block and won’t move.
While all of that does and has happened to me. Sometimes it is because I have a to do list that is a mile long causing my Type A personality to ding in the back of my mind, like a siren “Urgent! Urgent!” It screams. Other times it is just the creative muse of one to many ideas and novels; character or book ADD, I call it. Or maybe it is the generic every day thoughts and goings on in my life. To much thinking swirling around in my head like a tornado unable to shut them off, yet begging to because I have work to get done. A novel to finish. Deadlines to meet. Publishers who won’t understand it isn’t writer’s block, but the writing blues.
I find these times much more frustrating then writer’s block. Because I can write. I have ideas, but my mind keeps wanting to harp on other things, like boys, and grief, my ocdness. The mundane that take as much of a life of their own as the characters I write about.
It is actually one of the reasons, I always go to a coffee shop. Never mind I live alone, there will always be something to disturb me something which catches my eye in my humble abode. And while the animateness and exuberance of a coffee shop can be distracting, somehow the moment I put my head phones in, take a sip of coffee, and settle down to knock off a few thousand words, my brain generally knows to knock it off and indulge into the world of my novel.
Except for those moments when it does not want to focus. Those times are utterly frustrating. Nothing I do whether I talk to someone, take a few minutes to procrastinate on Instagram and the world wide web, or even try to write something else, usually a blog post like this one, seems to work. Even if I do sit down to write my novel, the direction seems off.
That is when I have to reassess. As writers we all have our rituals to “Get in the mood.” (no not like THAT!) Our quirks, even superstitions. Sometimes it is reevaluating those. Other times I try to take a few minutes to meditate. To recenter my mind and return to the focus of my work.
Unfortunately that doesn’t always have the desired affect and more drastic action is required. Which is what I do: Action. I will go for a run or do yoga to get the thinking jitters out. Most of my ideas, most of my thoughts, come from when I am rocking out to some Flo-Rida and getting my sweat on. For some unexplainable reason trying to drown myself in sweat, seems to work.
Then I sit down and tell my mind to bloody behave and focus. Actually joking aside, I don’t need too, usually, usually that does the trick.
What do you do when you hit the writing blues? Or even the writing block?