Saturday, January 7, 2012

Procrastination and Writer's Block

Like every writer, I get writer's block quite often. But sometimes, it's not really a block, but more of a procrastination. Unfortunately, one of the ways I have been procrastinating lately has been building this blog, making comments on other blogs and posting on Facebook. I know this is important to connect with my readers, since I can't do this in the book store; however, I need to be writing my second book, too.

During NaNoWrMo, I found out that I could actually write three scenes in a single night, if I focused. Well, I don't really want to write three scenes a night, but ONE scene should be my new goal. ONE scene each day. That's how I wrote my first book, and the first drafts of my second book. So, now that I'm revising my second book, this will be my new daily writing goal. If I write more, great, if I write less - well, I need to remember what my readers want, which is the second book and SOON!

So, writers out there - here's a bit of advice:

  1. read your last scene
  2. decide what you want your characters to accomplish in your next scene
  3. then write it!
When I am seriously facing a writer's block, I go to my journal and brainstorm my ideas about the scenery: like where the characters are, what it looks like, who else is there, and other sensory details as well. This gives me a starting point and I write from there, either in long hand or on the computer.

I make lots of lists. Lists of character actions, lists of places, lists of characters. The key to this list making is to use it as a jump start to writing. Don't just end with the list or make another list (unless you need to) - write a couple of paragraphs. Another way to break writer's block is to listen to music and write down some words that stick out in your mind. Then, try to weave some of  those words into your writing.

In fact, I write with headphones and music in my ear to block out the rest of the world. It helps me get beyond the lists and the first few lines of text that I've typed and into the zone where I can see and hear my characters interacting, just like a movie in my head. Once I'm into the zone, I can keep writing until I finish the scene.

Now, I need to stop procrastinating and actually revise my next scene!

1 comment:

  1. I know exactly how you feel. I spend so much time trying to promote my writing and my blog that I forget to leave some time for actual writing, saying "Oh, I'll write double tomorrow." And then I don't. It's so easy to get caught up in all those outside elements of being a writer, but we have to remember the actual writing is what holds it all together in the first place.

    Happy writing!


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