“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.” ~Terry Pratchett
Amy J. Romine (@IWrite) shared this quotation on Twitter recently. I read it and cracked up.
I’m a native Californian who recently blasted her way through Second Book Syndrome.
What is that? It’s an affliction that affects many first-time authors who are contracted or have a debut novel out and are working on (or attempting to work on) their next books. Basically it’s an advanced case of Writer’s Block.
What are the symptoms?
The primary symptom is a blank look while sitting in front of a blank screen.
What are the underlying causes?
Fear. Doubt. Uncertainty.
What is the solution?
Write, you say? Even though the creative well is dry? Why?
Since one of the causes of writers block is fear, forcing ourselves to produce words when we’re feeling parched is akin to a rider getting back on a horse after she’s been thrown off. Splash some words on the page. Even if the outcome is dreck, we’re writing.
Gradually the subconscious will take over, ousting the overactive conscious, and the words will begin to flow. They might come slowly at first, but don’t be surprised if a trickle turns into a torrent.
Does this technique work?
Yup! I sat at my computer and eeked out 250 words one day last week—slow, painfully wrought words. I worked my way up to 1,000 a day and maintained that pace for several days running, restoring my confidence. Just this week I had a 2,500 word day, and boy did that feel good! I proved Writer’s Block can be overcome—even by a Californian.
Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?
How do you work your way through it?
Or do you think Writer’s Block is a myth?