Writer’s Block. We’ve all heard of it and every writer has cried its hard knuckled claim on his or her writerly brain from time to time.
Since November 2014, I have written two full length novels. One is published, and one is waiting to be published (waiting patiently…New Jersey-driver-on-the-Turnpike patiently….). While writing my second novel, Good Buddy, I started a third novel. I had the inspiration, the entire concept, an outline in my head, and even considered a genre jump for it. I waffled with titles and finally settled on Bonnie Lass, most likely because my book titles seem to follow a pattern. However, other than getting the prologue started, I have been stuck. For a couple of years now. I just cannot seem to get it going.
There are lots of excuses, present and accounted for, in both my personal and professional life on why I have suffered this “writer’s block” on Bonnie Lass. I consider it a work in progress, but really, it’s nothing but a work chillin’ out and watching Netflix on repeat. So, because I acknowledged this wall standing in front of me and my third novel, I made a left turn and headed toward the short story world. I started seeking out short story opportunities and some of those opportunities actually found me. I have one flash fiction piece coming out on March 2nd in an anthology for dementia patients. I submitted a couple of my stories to contests and even won one. I have submitted a few more and am waiting. And then I was contacted to write a longer short story for another anthology, which I am fervently working on now.
Once I got some writing traction again, I walked across to the other side of the novel wall and started writing some poetry that didn’t have anything to do with my grief. I submitted a couple of poems that won nothing. In fact, the judges probably shook their heads and laughed. But it was still writing. It was still getting past the wall.
We hit proverbial walls in our lives all the time. The writing life is no different. However, when you can’t go straight ahead and plow through what you want to get done, it’s okay to just change course. At least for awhile. Don’t buy into the big writerly lie of writer’s block.
Instead, go right. It’s even okay to go backwards sometimes, and just read, regroup, and rest. Work on other things that feed your soul because it’s all part of being a writer.
Just don’t let the walls stop you.
Thanks for reading,