creative writing, writer's block, fiction, writing tips

Just Write: Thoughts on Writer's Block

by Thorne & Cross

No one likes a writer who doesn’t actually write. The pleas of artistic torture, blank-page anxiety, and I’m-giving-up-(again)-so-that-everyone-on-Facebook-can-urge-me-onward have gone stale. If you want to be a writer, then write. And if you can’t write full time, don’t fret. Neither could we when we began. Write in your downtime. Many successful authors have written their breakthrough novels while juggling full-time jobs, children, and myriad social obligations. So turn off the television and make writing a priority.

Big girls and boys don’t cry, they write. They don’t go on and on about the book they’re going to write “someday,” and they don’t bemoan cases of “writer’s block.” That’s the difference between the pros and the hobbyists, and if you want writing to be more than something you do on the side, you must learn to treat it like a job - a real-life nose-to-the-grindstone job. And the first step of beginning your job as a writer is getting to know your story.

When we sat down to write MOTHER, we spent a couple of weeks brainstorming, researching, and developing characters. We didn’t make the story up on the spot, of course; it had been growing in our minds for a year or more, but we didn’t devote official writing time to it until we were ready to go to work. It’s important not to let yourself get sidetracked by new projects.

After development, it took us about four months to write this 150,000 word book. We would have been faster, but we also spend time daily on our serial novel, The Witches of Ravencrest, as well as our solos, our radio show, and publicity.

So how did we do it? The same way we’ve written our other novels: We sat down and wrote every single weekday and half-days on Saturdays.

There’s much ado about such things as the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and “writer’s block,” but we don’t pay attention to any of them. While we don’t have problems with the Tooth Fairy or Santa, when it comes to “writer’s block,” we’re vehement atheists. “Writer’s block” is just a way of putting off the work and there are far too many cures to use it as a crutch.

First and foremost, we recommend writing. Even if it’s nonsense. Just write something. Anything. Let your unconscious mind find its flow and see where it takes you. Another helpful tip is to read. There’s something about reading that greases the gears of the mind, and after a thirty-minute stint, you’ll likely find yourself chomping at the bit to get back to the blank page where anything can happen. There are many other methods, but just knowing that “writer’s block” is a self-delusional absurdity is what works best for us. If you’re even half serious about being a writer, you’re above “writer’s block.”

Be better than “writer’s block.” Rub some dirt on it and walk away - and get back to the business of writing.