Getting UnBlocked

So, I don’t want to say that I have ‘Writers Block’ right now, rather I think it’s more accurate to say that I have an annoyance for the way my current story is going and I need to haul it all in and go through what I’ve got to figure out where I’m going from here.

If you’re an outliner or planning type writer, this is probably not applicable, but if you’re like me and a pantser, you can probably relate.

When I am writing, I start out with an idea, in the case of my current story, “What would happen if a country girl is in love with a mysterious neighbor who always wears long sleeves? What is he hiding underneath there?”

Then after I get my mental image prompt, I go into a sort of stretching of the idea. I answer my own questions through scenes that bubble from that original idea. If you want to see another author struggle with this like I do, may I suggest Libba Bray (

So here I am, staring at day 40 of this choice I’ve made to DO The Thing and in this case, it’s to get up every morning and write and take what comes out and make it into a book of some type, length and style. And yet here I am with this idea that I’m still convinced is fucking kickass and I have ALL THESE PIECES and I’ve forgotten what it’s supposed to look like. Or, worse, I know what I’m pretty sure I want it to look like, but I’m not sure I’ve got the right materials to build it.

So I go back to try and make a list of things and figure out if I can build what I need but I’m stuck on splinters and fragments of ideas.

Today’s (and yesterday’s if I’m honest) challenge is going to be to get down everything that I have so far and pin down where this story is going and put it in some sort of order to follow through.

The Now Habit, a book I’ve been reading to fight my natural procrastination inclinations, states that every project is just a series of starts. That we can’t think of our work as just ‘finishing’ but instead must think of it as small starts.

Today I start tugging at an outline and going from there.

On Being Stuck (Or: Another NaNoWriMo Update)

I’m extremely behind on my NaNoWriMo today.

And yesterday.

And the day before that.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve made any significant progress for days. Which is hard because I want to be doing well and I want to be putting those words in, but I am suddenly hitting all those road blocks that hit me every time I try and get through a project like this.

I wish I knew what I was doing wrong. Other than not writing which is always the wrong option.

My first trip up came with hardware. The tablet that I use to write away from home is called Winston because it, like the great Churchhill for which it was named, has narcolepsy and will shut itself down whenever it wants. This is also a busy time of the year at my day job along with the pressures that comes with the holidays.

I keep telling myself not to give up. Reminding myself that I’ve pulled off bigger wordcounts in less time before. But it, so far hasn’t been great.

It’s very tempting on this blog not to report my struggling. I feel, like Facebook or any other version of social mediums, that it’s best not to air your ‘dirty laundry’

But let’s be honest. All writers have these moments. Moments of sitting where the words won’t come or where we just type at ourselves and make no sense and get frustrated.

I recommend that if you are in this situation that you NOT follow my lead which is binge watching Parks and Recreations on Netflix while playing ‘Bejeweled’ on Zen mode for four hours. Or, as I did today, bake and cook for the entirety of the day. (Though, at least if you’re cooking you get bread, brownies, glazed chicken, as well as a side dish of rice and gravy). I think that’s why I turn to games and cooking when the writing gets hard. It’s a place where I can see tangible results instead of a muddy stream of words.

My plan for tomorrow is dictation. Maybe if I can speak the story and type it out, I can break through the string of no writing days. We shall see.

When you’re going through the muddy middle, don’t sit in the middle. Just keep walking.