written exclusively for Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy Reviews
I was asked the other day to explain what I do when I encounter that dreaded writer’s block that all authors are faced with, and I wish there was a easy answer for this, but when you’re in the middle of one of those moments there really isn’t anything simple about it. But I have tried a few different methods of working through it; sometimes they work, and unfortunately, there are times they don’t. I could be knee-deep in some killer action—or maybe even a hot and spicy love episode—and then out of nowhere, the wall shoots up and my mind goes blank, leaving me unable to finish the scene. And trust me, picking up my laptop and throwing it across the room in a fit of rage can be very tempting, but once I find a way through the barrier, I’m going to need my computer, so destroying it isn’t an option. After all, it’s not like it’s my laptop’s fault that I’m going through that, it’s more than likely my brain’s—but there’s hardly a way to rip it a new one. (chuckles) So figuring out how to trick it back into functioning the way I need it to is the key.
The first thing I’ve tried is to get up and walk away for a bit. Staring mindlessly at the screen is only going to make things worse, and sometimes a momentary break is all you really need to get back on track. If the weather is nice, go for a short walk. Or maybe this is the perfect time to run those errands you’ve been putting off. Usually this really helps me, and once I’m back in front of my computer, I feel refreshed and ready to resume the story.
Another thing that has sometimes helped is to just close the window to my WIP and work on getting through my email or something else that needs my attention. Lately I’ve had a lot of guest blog posts and interviews with some pretty amazing bloggers (like Lisa), and it’s been the perfect outlet away from my uncooperative muses.
But those breaks are only temporary because at the end of the day, we have deadlines that force us to push through. The fear of not having something ready on time grates heavily on my nerves, and sometimes just staring at the screen willing my fingers to type something—anything—will at least help me accomplish my daily word goal (my minimum is 1k words per day) even if some of that forced material ends up getting deleted later on. Expunged scenes are extremely common for us writers, and lately I’ve noticed some of my favorite authors including a ‘deleted scene’ at the end of their books. Being an avid reader myself, I personally love it when there are extras to read, so I’ve been implementing that concept in my own novels.
So now it’s time for me to ask: how do you handle writer’s block? Or perhaps the better question is: how many computers have you had to replace?