Perhaps the title of this post is a bit misleading. Truth be told, I don’t believe in writer’s block. There are days when the creativity feels like it won’t flow at all, and there are certainly days when I would prefer to do something other than tying my backside to the chair and hammering out words, but that’s what everybody feels about any job on some days.
“Writer’s block” is, I believe, too often an excuse to be wielded on those days when a writer would prefer to play hookie. There’s nothing wrong with playing hookie, but whilst playing, it’s disingenuous to complain about not getting stuff done on your manuscript. There truly is no substitute to a writer writing, even when the words don’t flow easily.
I think of creativity as a flow, and the writer as the pump. When the pipes are filled and the pressure is even, creativity pours out of us, sometimes in such volume that we can’t handle it all. Then stuff happens in our lives or in our surroundings that causes intellectual cavitation, and our pump loses prime. All that flow reduces to a pool, and it’s hard work to get it going again.
Everybody has a proprietary secret sauce to re-prime their own pipes, but one that always works for me is to return to the basics: pen and paper. I posted a video on the topic on my YouTube channel. I don’t know why it works, but somehow, the tactile connection between my brain and the page, flowing through an old-fashioned fountain pen, never fails to set me straight. For every book I write, I’d guess 20% of the prose starts as being written longhand. Once the story is flowing again, I type up the handwritten pages and I’m off and running.
What about you? Any tricks you want to share for getting past the story parts that don’t seem to want to work?