Writer's Block - An Escape Plan

Poor prose... Weak characters... Slow plot... Tight deadlines... Harsh criticism... Too many risks on the page... Not enough. Any of this strike a chord?

Writer's block boils down to the same core emotion: fear

Yesterday, Talia had a great list of suggestions to jump start the writing, and on Tuesday, Katy talked about riding out the slump by taking some time off. They're both right. Getting out of writer's block is basically a matter of doing anything that will remove, or at least diminish, your writing fears.

What's the answer for you? Is it a walk around the block to help you relax? A phone call with a good friend? A day or two off? For me, it's silence.

Last week, I talked about heading to a secluded location to write. The first time I went there, I was in the throes of writer's block. Really, truly, I was in knots. Whenever I sat down to work, a panicky, anxious feeling settled in my lungs and my shoulders crept up, little by little, until they were right next to my ears. Stress much?

When I feel this way, my answer is to escape. Give me a good, long stretch of time, a change of scenery, and quiet, and it's like the frenzy of the world slows, and slows, and slows and suddenly I feel it again. That mellow buzz of the writing high. I see the places and the characters. I am the characters. They're with me, and we are fearless.


Escaping sounds like a great way to deal with writer's block.

My method has always been to step away for a moment, play games with my daughter for a bit. I love her squeaky laughter. Then I force myself to eat a little bit of chocolate - darn you cocoa cocoa gods!!

Then I'm relaxed and ready to clack out a bunch of nonsense on the page, lucking out to find a nugget here and a nugget there to get my juices flowing and stepping away, one slow-dragging-foot-at-a-time, from the writer's block.

Taking a deep breath and reminding myself that I can (and will) always revise.

Silence helps a bunch, too.

I'm not sure if chocolate helps cure writer's block, but it makes it much more savory.

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