Writing is quite possibly the most amazing thing in the world. In a sentence, I can create the greatest universe known to mankind. In a novel, I can explore an entirely new reality with hobbits, gnomes, elves and unicorns. You can even write yourself out of a bad situation, a love lost, a death, even anxiety. Anything is possible because you are this mythic god who can do anything and all the power is within your hands. Until……you hit the figurative wall.
Yes, the wall. No not the wall that the Lord Commander protects, this wall is much bigger than that. It is the fabled wall that haunts your nightmares and keeps you up at night. Impenetrable, unyielding and…what’s another synonym for that? Oh yeah, permanent.
So how do we bust through the wall and find out what awesome untapped lands lay on the other-side?
Realize that you are a conduit
When you are in alignment, the words just seem to flow. You know the right thing to say, the right way to say it and all of the grammar Nazi’s can sleep well at night because by god your writing is flawless. But then, you decide to go to sleep and you lose it. You lose that feeling and you can’t get it back. Writing is all about you, it’s about your head space, the way you feel and how receptive you are to your own ideas.
I am about to blow your mind, your book has been written already….by you. “Phew!” I know right? What a load off, now you can kick back and binge on Netflix or something.
The truth is, you actually know the ending to all of your novels, you know the plot twists, the reveals, and just how brilliant your world is, but with all the hustle and bustle of the real world, you close yourself off to your own consciousness. Trust me, give it time and you will see how neatly your book will wrap itself up, almost as if you didn’t think about it at all. Suddenly in the middle of the night as the clock dings twelve you have a stroke of genius as you realise how it’s “supposed” to go. You have deciphered Pandora’s Box. You finally figured out “WHATS… IN…THE…..BOOOOOX!!!”
But again, you always knew and the best way I can explain it is that you simply have forgotten and now you are remembering it.
Any creator will tell you that, “It just came to me.” Musicians, artists, porn stars…. They put themselves in the right frame of mind to receive it and suddenly, it’s there, just as you will.
So stop trying to figure it out and figure it out. It’s already there inside that beautiful mind of yours. Now go ahead and put it on paper.
Talk to your characters.
If you have writer’s block, it’s because you don’t know your characters well enough. So sit them down, have a chat and find out their motives. Light some candles while you’re at it, set the mood and get intimate. Pillow-talk intimate. And yes, I mean actually talk to them aloud.
I am a bit of a lunatic, so sometimes I pretend to speak in character A’s voice and then reply with character B’s. When I do this, I actually hear what they sound like and it gives me insight into what that character would do, why they would do it and how they would say it. This is an awesome tool that I am willing to give you for the low price of…..well nothing. Have a conversation with them and you might find out something you didn’t already know. A dark, dirty, juicy secret. A love affair? Maybe, they will unveil that chapter that we’ve all been waiting for. Perhaps your “villain” is actually trying to help you. Or, your character is lamer than a bag of Cheetos.
I dare you to give it a try. Sure your parents might try to send you to an asylum, but your novel is worth it right?
Be a creature of habit
If there is a time of day when the ideas flow better than others, then that should be the time you conceptualize your book. If there is a certain time that you like to write, then write at that time. You will find that the ideas and the words flow when you are in sync with yourself.
Write other things/do other things.
Sometimes it’s good to remove yourself from work you have slaved over for months. It’s freeing to start a new project. Explore other ways to create, write a poem, or a short story. Maybe you could, I don’t know, start a blog and write about writing. That’s a sure-fire way to alleviate your blockage.
Write yourself out of it!
Listen, you are a creative savant. You can write yourself out of this writer’s block, all you have to do is put pen to paper….err, finger to keys and the words will come. Your inner narrator will rise like a phoenix with the words feeding into sentences and sentences becoming beautifully crafted paragraphs. In time you will have pages of scrawling text that only the gods could have written. But somehow those words disseminated from your magical tips. Are you a god? Why yes, yes you are.
Go easy on yourself.
Hey, you’re awesome. Mainly because you are reading my blog right now along with the other millions, maybe billions. But no seriously you two…
You’re a great writer Harry! Just write, and see what happens, put words on the page and let them flow. Let them weave and flux into a stream of synchronicity. It’s easy, until it’s difficult, so don’t let it become difficult. Keep writing and edit later. When you hear your main character whisper sweet nothings in your ear, listen to them. Let them drive the story. This will ensure that they have an active voice. That’s when the magic happens.
That’s what writing is, its magic.
Take my advice and soon (maybe next week) you will be Stephen King, George RR, or maybe if you’re lucky enough you can just be yourself.