Writing is easy until it isn’t. I don’t believe in writer’s block, but I concede there are reasons and situations which often derail our best intentions.
It sounds simple, to sit down and put pen to paper, fingers to the keyboard, and the pedal to the metal. Many would-be writers discount learning and developing the required processes. Hitting on a brilliant novel premise, navigating hard to establish beginnings, mucking through messy middles, and devising satisfying endings to create your masterwork, are the initial steps to completing your first draft. Next comes ego-crushing revisions, where you remove your darlings, followed by never-ending edits. No pressure there.
The worst part is writing reveals our lack of knowledge or competence. When the narrative stalls, leaving us staring at a blank page, and volunteering to clean the bathroom, it is a sure sign we need to pinpoint the cause. Sometimes the solution is obvious. Concentration is difficult when we become tired, preoccupied, or stressed, and the remedy is taking care of ourselves before we begin. Perfectionism, over-analysis, and fear of failure stop us before we even start.
Other times the issue lies within the story we are creating. Maybe the real problem is a scene that doesn’t flow, and it prevents forward progress. We must identify the specific point where we have gone wrong. Would our character react the way we have written? Is there a logic flaw? Did we engage in information overload? Or are facts missing? The more detailed we are, the sooner we can devise creative solutions, return to our regularly scheduled work routine, and write our best story.
How do you ensure productive writing time?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer