Friday, September 6, 2013

Anything Goes: Writer's Block - is there a cure? A Writer's Confession

For years I’ve stumbled along by the seat of my pants with writing novels, calling my non-writing times process time. After all, I thought, I’m new at this and avoiding the word ‘blocked’ makes it not so, right?  

Honestly, I never accepted there was such a thing as ‘writer’s block,’ at least not for me.

I have a confession to make, however, one I’m not proud of…I’ve not written one word on any novel since the first of June…yep, three full months of zip-zam-pooey.

Every time I make a point to sit and write, something always comes up, interferes, distracts, or takes priority. *LOL* That shiny thing that momentarily takes my complete focus…or as my dog sees it…a squirrel.

I have tons of reasons…all good, of why I’m not writing. Examples: Blogging, Editing, Article writing, Helping writer friends or aspiring writers, Book Reviewing, Interviewing, Marketing, Promoting, Social Networking, Blog touring…and the list goes on…same as yours.

Now, I’m feeling desperate to figure out why I’m doing everything else but novel writing. I have a third book to write in my Lycan series…what is happening inside this creative brain of mine to hold up the LIIA story stars? They’re ready and anxious to get their story down.

Let me tell you about this amazing writing coach, Cathy Yardley…well more specifically about her book, Write Every Day – How to Write Faster, and Write More. It’s part of her Rock Your Writing Series

My whole deal about not writing is that I’ve piled so much on my plate, I’m stuffed, can’t take another bite…and yet I do (like most of us do). 

This book breaks it down into four specific culprits – and you’d think how easy to pick and choose what those are. Well, it’s not easy…if you were to know what they are, they would no longer be an issue. But the funny thing is…most of us are clueless; we just think we know what’s taking a bite out of our writing.

Ms. Yardley has dazzled me…thoroughly. Here’s a listing of the chapters in her book so you get a good idea of what I’m talking about: Identifying Your Issues; Time; Energy; Fear; Process; Support Network; Action Plan; Conclusion; Further Resources.

In Ms. Yardley’s introduction to the book, she clarifies it is for people who want desperately to write more books – more easily and more quickly. What WED focuses on is becoming aware of what stops a writer from achieving this goal. She takes the writer through exercises and a bit of homework to make this discovery, and we all know with awareness comes acknowledgment, and then our means to move past the block, hurtle, fear, energy vampire, etc.

Recognition of the issue is more than half the battle of overcoming it.

I’m excited about this book – have taken time out of my tight schedule of not writing my novel to follow along with Ms. Yardley’s exercises.

I’m not finished reading it, but I’m doing some homework specific to figuring out my own personal issues – once aware, I will get back to what I love most…writing my novels. I’m in the process of developing a writing schedule that seems to be working – to sit down daily with nothing else opened but my WIP and actually writing…two hours every morning. YAY!!

The writing life is amazing when a writer writes;) Wishing you all productive happy writing:)

Is there some resource or practice you've found that alleviates a total stop in your novel writing? Please, please, please leave a comment and share;)

Kay Dee

Write Every Day – How To Write Faster, and Write More

By Cathy Yardley


Do you want to write more novels?

Maybe you’re having trouble finding time to write in a busy, jam-packed week.

Maybe you’re exhausted when you do manage to carve out some time to write.

Or maybe, when you’ve got the time and energy, you either waste time and then wonder where the day went… or you face a blank page, unable to type “anything decent.”

Pinpoint what’s stopping you – and find real solutions.

WRITE EVERY DAY is specifically geared for fiction authors who are juggling busy home lives, work lives, and the new pressures to “build a platform” while simultaneously producing more books. 

Instead of rote advice (i.e. “just get your butt in the chair and write”) it gives clear instructions for zeroing in on what’s really preventing you from writing, and then offers a selection of simple suggested solutions to carve out more time, get more focus, and gently dissolve writer’s block. 

Similar to other books in the Rock Your Writing series, WRITE EVERY DAY takes a wealth of resource material and distills it down into one clear, helpful approach.


Anonymous said...

I'm very curious to hear anyone else's experience and how they overcame their 'not-writing' times.

Please share - we can all gain from another writer's experience and solution;)

Marsha said...

Hey, Kay Dee. This was an interesting post. I haven't written new in months now, but I've accepted my inability to multitask too many books at the same time. (This is from too many years of mutitasking out the wazoo!) I do better work if I can focus on two books at once. When I throw in the third one, I'm lost and can't remember who is who. I'm finishing edits on one book. One is at MIU hoping someone will want to work on it. :) A third book, which is really only a second :) I haven't started writing, but planning. I have a writing retreat scheduled for the first weekend in November. Hopefully, I'll have written a bit by then, but I should crank out 15-17 K words then. I really write faster in that setting. We all know what interferes with our writing: life happens. (That's different to me than a writing bloc, when you have the time, but nothing is showing up on the computer screen.) I've learned not to stress to much about it. Maybe because I had 6 books written before I sold #4. I have back ups. Interesting post, Kay Dee.

Alix Richards said...

Interesting post, Kay Dee! I've had 'writer's block' before. It isn't any fun. :-( It's painfully horrible. At least for me.

What happens for me is like what Marsha said, 'life happens' and that seems to be what's kept me from writing my full on load of words. I can't say I'm not writing, cause I am, even if it's barely a quarter (or a third some days) of what I normally punch out. I tend to get caught up in daily life and -in a sense- forget about writing until an idea comes barreling in from left field and smacks me in the head. LOL Sounds like a book I should check out, just because I know I'm going to need it. ;-) Thank you for the info share, Kay Dee! Good luck and hope you get to writing again soon. :-)

Lorrie Struiff said...

If that book is really helping you Kay Dee, I would purchase it. I don't know if I have writers block or I'm just losing interest in writing. I hope it's not the latter. It seems the fun, the excitement to get back to the story is not there anymore. And yet I do want to write. If I accomplish two paragraphs at a sitting, I count myself lucky. And to force write...well, we all know how that turns out. I'm more than ready to try anything to get the 'zing' back.

Helena Fairfax said...

Interesting post, Kay Dee. I'm with you, Lorrie, in wondering how to get that "zing" back. I've heard it's best to sit down and write something every day, and just keep on writing, even if what you are writing is nonsense. Eventually something will spark. This is what I'm trying at the moment, but I can tell you, it's a slog :( Maybe all writers go through this?

Darla said...

Hi Kay Dee! I'm definitely going to check out that book because I've also realized that I self sabotage my own work. I make excuses and then later kick myself for not writing. I'm tired of kicking myself. :)

I've had both writer's block and lost that 'zing'.
My mom lived with me and my husband for 7 years. During those years, she went through heart issues, two bouts of cancer and in the end, she passed away. From all the stress, I got very sick. And then after, depression for about 6 months. I lost my desire to write. A huge part of getting published was to make my mom proud and since she was no longer here...well, I thought why continue. And then I remembered, because I love to write. So little by little, and with a lot of help from my friends, I got back into the groove of it.

Writer's block, yes, I've stared at a blank page for hours wondering "what now?" One thing that helps me is working on another idea-I've got tons of them that are waiting patiently to get their story told. Another is reading. If I can't get my mind going with my own work, then I'll read someone else's LOL After a while, the juices start flowing again and I'm back in the driver's seat.

I'm almost finished with my first novel and the second is pretty much outlined. The third in the series is just an idea at this point.

Anonymous said...

Marsha...I love your writing story...I write best on retreat also (for whatever reason...because I'm home alone most of the time). I have one coming up in a couple weeks for three days...and I'm planning on writing, writing, writing. Not sure of word count, but my aim is to finish the YA WIP (written under another name). Thanks so much for sharing...You ARE a BUSY writer;)

Anonymous said...

Hugs, Alix. Thanks so much for stopping in and sharing (we get a chances to share off screen, too, which I love;) You've been an inspiration to me...once you get going, there's no stopping you *smiles*

I understand family taking front and center...after all, isn't that what initiates many of our ideas and creative thoughts...we do have to take time to live our lives or how would we be able to understand the emotions of our characters, right?

You're may slow down for processing, Alix, but you've been pumping those books out right and left...and I'm enjoying everyone of them;)

Anonymous said...

Lorrie - all I can say about the book is that it hit me in a way nothing else has to date... It speaks to language...makes me giggle a bit, too. Cathy is relaxed, informal, but spot on in her way of deciphering what's stopping the writing up.

I've got a bit of all four reasons, but heavier on one I never considered an surprised me.

She's good, has written a number of books herself, so has experienced it first hand, also.

It isn't an expensive way to figure out what's creating the hold up;)

Anonymous said...

Helena...maybe you're right...all writer's need to take a breath and live life for a bit...get recharged and start over when the sparks revived.

All I know is that I love writing, it makes me feel the highest high so why have I been so lax...lethargic to get back at it. Cathy gives some insight into those hangups...discovering them for yourself and dissolving them.

I can see this fact all of her Rock Writing books, as references/resources at different times for me;) I don't know this author personally...have never read another things she's written, but this book just hit me spot-on...go figure (LOL) All this time...and something finally clicked;)

Anonymous said...

Darla, I love your reflects some of my far as mothers go;) I also cared for my mom a number of years until she passed away. It's tough getting back up on that horse and ride into the writing sunset;)

You've done well, though - good for you!! You've got my proudness *smiles* Congratulations on your first book...and already going on your second.

Some of Cathy's ideas to keep the inspiration and juices flowing is joining a writers group, or share with beta readers...or just have another like-minded writer to share and help make you accountable for some words;) That's all well and good, but if there's some inner-thing going on we don't have a clue about...well, how would we discover it??

Cathy's exercises and homework gave me a diving board...something to use to throw myself into the deep end of the pool *grins* It's actually been kind of fun figuring out what's what in Kay Dee Royal's creative mind (that hasn't been so creative).

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story...very touching;)

Darla said...

Well, Kay Dee, I got that book you suggested and started reading it last night. This morning, I began my hourly journal. :)

So far, from what I've read, it sounds like fear is my main stumbling block-though what that fear is yet to be determined. With a mix of time and process.

Thanks again for recommending this book!!!

S. Durham Writer ~ Author said...

Kay Dee,

Wonderful post and so apropos. I too have been off the grid due to a multitude of family "stuff" but as Autumn rolls in I've broken some ground again, and the things you've sited from this book are spot on! Thanks so much for sharing, and I'd suggest a challenge to make our goal, but I don't want to get crazy:) But it is time to set some deadlines I think...

I love getting a chance to catch up when you do a blog post. P.S. sounds like a good schedule you've started. Keep it up!

Hugs, Sara