A couple days ago, I was hit with writer’s block.
It didn’t stem from lack of content or direction: I know how I want my scenes to play out and where the story is headed.
Yet writer’s block dropped itself on me all the same.
It usually takes me a few days to overcome writer’s block, days filled with note taking and cerebral pushups to get myself ready to write again.
This time I thought I’d try something different. I’ll write a short bit of fiction that personifies my writer’s block. Hopefully the process of writing something unrelated and more freeform than my novel will help me get back on track.
Laptop under my arm, I decide to work on my novel in the living room that night. I build a makeshift computer desk using a wooden dinner tray and top it with an old desk lamp.
I open up the work in progress, my fingertips hovering over the keys, when a stranger saunters into the room. His boots thump methodically against the tiled floor. He’s more shadow than flesh, a black hole given the silhouette of a man.
When he reaches the middle of the room, the stranger pauses and nods toward the desk lamp.
“You mind?” says a raspy voice.
I just lean back in my sofa and stare at him.
He grunts and retreats to a darker part of the room. He drops hard into a chair and crosses his legs.
“Garbage,” he says.
He waves a hand at the laptop. “That . . . whatever you call it. It’s trash.”
“Of course. You’d know since you’ve obviously read it,” I say.
“Don’t have to. You’re green; how good can it be?”
“We all start somewhere.”
“ ‘Every great journey begins with a single step,’ eh?” His laugh is a short, sharp dagger that digs into me. The tip must have been poisonous; I feel doubt spread into my mind.
Hmm, I actually do feel a bit more motivated now. The fiction above doesn’t have a “happy” ending, but it doesn’t have to. It was the act of writing something out that helped.
So tell me: how do you fight writer’s block? Or artist’s block? Or musician’s block?