Monday, February 7, 2011

Writer's Block Cause #1: Uncertainty

Tip of the Day: Andrea Mack has a wonderful blog (called That's Another Story) on MG/YA writing. I loved her recent post on writing emotions.

So you know when you go out to a Chinese restaurant that has like 200 entrees on the menu and they all sound good? Like you could go for something spicy, but on the other hand, this place makes really good Mu Shu Pork, although now that you think about it, it's been ages since you had decent orange chicken. That's pretty much how I feel about my writing right now, and it's leading to a major case of writer's block.

I define writer's block as "I don't know what to work on, so I feel totally paralyzed." It usually happens to me when I don't have enough time to write. Right now, I'm in physical therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome so I'm supposed to be limiting my typing time. It's putting a lot of pressure on me to pick the RIGHT project to spend my time on. But what is the right project? Revising something I could send out? Finishing the first draft of a novel with promise? Starting something exciting and new?

So now I feel like the waiter is staring at me, and everyone else around the table has already ordered, and I just have to pick something. Aaah, fine, Mu Shu Pork. No, wait, I forgot about the Veggie Lo Mein, why didn't I order that?!

Except there isn't a waiter tapping his pen on his pad or a table of hungry people sighing at me. So I'm just not ordering. And that, for me, is writer's block. Obviously, what I need is for my writer friends to send me nasty notes. WRITE SOMETHING BY THIS DATE OR ELSE. Critique group deadlines motivate me to get past writer's block. There's my first "break writer's block" suggestion: have your beta readers yell at you. In a motivational way, of course. Or with threats. Whatever works for you.

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages


DeenaML said...

I haven't read anything from you in forever, Kate! Get writing -- or dictate to your kids and have them type for you! :)

Lisa said...

Yell, yell. I'm waiting . . . LOL