I don't really believe in writer's block. Before you hit delete or fire off your rebuttal to my controversial statement, let me clarify that I don't beleive in writer's block, but I do know writers get stuck sometimes.
The truth is, there's no wicked virus or affliction out there that infects our creative brain and keeps us from writing. Instead, I've found clients come to me with one of several reasons behind their "stuckness:"
- Doubt Demons - Fear is the biggest culprit when it comes to being stuck. My advice: Try not to think about future readers or getting an agent/editor or reviews or any of that and focus on telling YOURSELF the story first.
- The Internal Editor - But even if you are laser-focused on telling yourself the story, your internal editor may be filling your head with imposter syndrome. Go ahead and listen to all of her critique—maybe even write it down on a piece of paper. But then burn that shit and get back to your writing. She can say her piece, but then you need to move on.
- More Planning Required - You might have started out as a panther, but if you're feeling stuck or like you've written yourself into a corner, it might be time to adding some planning tools to your writers toolbox. Check out my How to Use a Long-Form Synopsis post over on Jane Friedman's blog for tips on how to add this easy but powerful tool to your repertoire.
- Marination Time Required - Sometimes you just need more time to process your story in the background. If you've been working hard for weeks or months, go take a walk or plant some flowers. Sometimes rest is all the creative mind really needs.
If you've considered each of the four items above, but are still sitting butt-in-chair staring at a blank screen, it may be time to reach out to an expert for help. Reach out today to see how I can help you get unstuck.
Do you have a favorite way to get unstuck? Hit reply and let me know. I'd love to hear about it.
PS - If you're not exactly stuck, but are struggling to get started with your first book, my friend and colleague Janet Fox has a new course that might help: The Six Day Story System. Learn from one of the pros--she's my book coach after all--in this course that gives you the basics of writing a book in five easy lessons (and a sixth day for digging into that draft!). It's a steal of a price at $67. Check it out here.