(part 5–Overcoming Writer’s Block)
41. Writer’s block comes with being a writer. Get used to it or get out of the business.
42. There are (for me at least) two types of writer’s block. Learn which one you have and you’ll have a better chance at overcoming it.
43. Type 1 writer’s block can also be known as “can’t get off the couch” disease. You don’t want to write. You want to watch TV or play online or talk to your friends. There’s nothing wrong with the book—there’s just something wrong with you. For this type, you simply have to pull yourself off the couch (deadlines are very helpful) and keep writing.
44. Type 2 writer’s block is far more problematic. In these instances, you’re working hard, but for some reason the book is…wrong. The scenes feel forced. Just getting 100 words down is a struggle. While Type 1 must be written through, Type 2 means writing around. This is your book (and body’s) way of telling you you’re writing the wrong thing. Take a step back; figure out what’s wrong; and keep going.
45. Find a system/routine that works for you—something that tells the mind “we’re going to write now”. Maybe this means going to a certain room in your house. Maybe it means putting on your comfy robe. Whatever it is, keep in mind this might vary for different books. It might even vary for different parts of writing the same book.
46. If you work for a couple of days and the work isn’t going well, then first ask if you have Type 2 writer’s block. If so, revisit your story. If not, then change HOW you’re writing. Trade the computer for a pen and a notebook. Drag your laptop to your local library. Get up early. Stay up late. Whatever the case, remember that if you want different results, you have to make different actions.
47. Exercise. Walk the dog. Swim. If the blood starts flowing, the ideas might follow.
48. Take a nap. Seriously. Let your subconscious take over for a little while and the true answer to your problem might come to the surface.
49. Think out loud—either by yourself or with a friend.
50. Make a list of all the possibilities—the act of writing them down and looking at them physically can help you narrow down the choices until you find the right one.