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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Writer's Block Isn't

Somehow I have been extremely lucky in the last two years and any time I found myself stuck in park and unable to propel a story forward, others manifested themselves and I was in a perpetual state of creative fusion and fission.

This is what allowed me to put together a back catalogue.

I allowed the writing to come to a halt because my priorities had to change as Real Life needed to take precedence for a bit.

For whatever reason, I’ve picked up my mechanical pencil and started writing during breaks. I never regretted putting May You Grow Old and Fat aside because I understand that trying to force a story never works.

When you try to manipulate output for no other purpose than to be done, only horrific things can happen… For one thing, your characters lose their voice and the narrative thread unravels.

But when a character drives the action forward and you hear their voice, you must answer by documenting what they are telling you. Right now, a scene I was not anticipating has opened up before me and added an additional dimension I had not planned. A character whom I thought was central to the story has taken a journey that surprised me. Shocked me even! A character I thought of simply as an accessory has suddenly turned into a catalyst for change.

At the same time, a few days ago as I walked to the train station a funny story insinuated itself into my psyche and by the time I was downstairs in the subway, I’d drafted a synopsis that I believe will be the next NaNoWriMo project. I have two choices now: the android story that explores sexuality and artificial intelligence in space or the story of a woman possessed by a pair of stilettos bought at a thrift store that present her with superpowers and an interesting set of problems. One is humorous. Maybe they both are . . . I don’t know yet.

The fact is I need more laughs because there has been too much drama and too many tears shed lately. But ultimately what I wanted to say was this:

  1. Never rush creativity, trust your inner voice to find its way in and out of story.
  2. Be patient because this small virtue will reward you with magnificent surprises that spring forth even more creativity.
  3. Do not despair when the voices of your characters are muted because you must focus on priorities – this will make you stronger and it will show in your writing when you return to it.
  4. Never, ever, assume the Muse has left you. Even a Muse needs to rest sometimes. She’ll come back, you just have to be alert and recognize her when she comes back to you.
This experiment has not disappointed me yet and it keeps getting more and more interesting. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next!

Writer's block often isn't, it's just a necessary break to gather impulse.

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