Mods and Writers' Block

If I had to wager a guess, I'd say that many, if not most, of you had heard of Writer's Block long before you even knew you wanted to be a writer. It's such a well known concept that one has to wonder whether it really exists or if it only exists because we're led to believe that it does. 

Philosophical debates aside, it's all too easy to blame our writing struggles on the renowned Writer's Block. In this issue of the Support Indie Authors Newsletter, we'd like to address a few tips and tricks to keep ourselves from falling prey to this struggle. 

But to start us out, a few of the Mods here at Support Indie Authors have penned a few lines on what their version of Writer's Block looks like and how they combat it. 

There are a million different things I do to work through writer’s block, everything from walking away from the project to sitting and meditating at my desk. I believe there is no cure all for writer’s block, and if you try to force it, you only compound the problem.

Some people loosen up when they take a shot, some when they smoke a bowl, or whatever your poison is. The point is to find a way to relieve your stress in a positive way.
— Riley Amos Westbrook
I have a different approach to writer’s block. Because, let’s face it. The problem isn’t the lack of imagination. It isn’t the staring at the blank page not able to type one word either. It’s the fighting with a stubborn character that will not bend to our will.

How many times have you tried to push your story in one direction but there you are, sitting on your chair with your hands on the keyboard, but all you do is type a word or two and scratch them. Have you ever considered that maybe—just maybe—your character doesn’t want to go that way?

As authors, we aim to give life to our characters and yet when they rebel and don’t listen, what do we do? We waste our energy trying to mold them to our stories. After all, we are the authors, aren’t we? I will not argue with that; however, you have to remember that we are writing their stories. We’re talking about their lives. Who are we to control their every move?

I have learned that if I give them a little bit of leeway, it makes things a whole lot easier for me. As long as they go from A to Z, I don’t care if they want to skip B or take a detour to D. Most of the time, it ends up being something important later in the story. So go ahead and let them play. Let them stray a bit. If you don’t like what they did, you can always edit it out once you’re done with the story. It will be too late for them to rebel.
— GG Atcheson
I’m not sure if I’ve ever suffered from “writer’s block”. Have I come to a point in a story where I’m not sure what happens next? Sure. But I’m a ‘pantser’ and I’ve come to expect this as just part of the process. That being said, what do I do when I hit one of those spots? Take a walk, watch a movie, read, anything that takes me away from staring blankly at that blinking cursor and allows my subconscious to work on it in the background. The absolute worst thing I can do is try to force it, and I can’t just write down anything and tell myself I’ll fix it later. That path leads to fixating on the problem passage, and ultimately making it worse. The most important thing is to trust in your creativity and remain confident you will get through it.
— J. Daniel Layfield
For me, writer’s block usually means that the section I’m trying to write probably needs to be reworked. So I step back, take a breather for a few days and ponder the issue in my mind until I finally figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. Trust your writing instincts is what I always tell myself. If you’ve been going strong with your story only to find yourself hitting a brick wall, it could be because something in the story or part you’re working on isn’t working out, and needs a re-think.
— Melissa A. Jensen
The hard part when writers block is dealing with their increased defense. If you have any special moves that decrease their defense, such as Armor Break, now is the time to use them.

For particularly stubborn blocking writers you could try a poison attack. Their Hit Points will slowly drain away while they do nothing but block! Foolish writers.
— CB Archer
I never have writer’s block. I have at least a dozen projects going right now of various genres, styles, etc. If I get stuck on one, I just move to another. I don’t get in a hurry to finish anything. I just work on what I’m in the mood for.
— Dwayne Fry

Regardless of how you manage your Writers Block (or lack thereof if you're one of the lucky few) just remember that it's common to feel stuck. But stressing over it will only cause the block to thicken. Take a break, play around with a short story or another project, allow your mind to clear and then try try again! 

- Ann

Ann Livi Andrews