During the promo tour for Letting Go, I was interviewed by A Passion for Romance. One of their questions was about writer’s block, whether I experienced it and how I solved the problem. I don’t think I ever pondered this before, not consciously, anyway. Answering their question made me realize why.
I’m terrible when it comes to organizing things and sticking to plans. In short, I don’t do that. Right now, for example, I’m supposed to be revising a MS that I need to hand in at the beginning of March. Am I doing that?
*insert two minutes of crazy laughter*
You probably guessed the answer is no. I’m writing a novella, revising a different MS, starting on a new novella (that might end up being a companion novel to Letting Go), and thinking about writing a short story for a competition. Bear in mind that I have about two hours a day that I can dedicate to my writing, and the deadlines for all of the above, except for the companion novel, are at the beginning of March.
This is mostly the result of me not being able to resist starting a new project until I finish the current one. Whenever I get a new idea, I become obsessed with it and I can’t stop thinking about it and that leads to me envisioning scenes and characters and all sorts of stuff that needs to be written down. like. right. now. Inevitably, it leads to a whole lot of confusion, looming-deadline panic, me pulling my hair out etc.
But it also has a positive side. One that Christine mentioned in her blog post on inspiration. In short, if you want to be inspired you have to write. You may think I got that backwards, but the truth is that your brain needs to get used to the act of writing. Your mind must think about writing in order to send you ideas for what to write about. So, every time I’m working on a project, I’ll get two or three new ideas. I let them develop and grow in my mind for a while (usually one sleepless night is enough). Some, I soon discard. With the promising ones, I start jotting down ideas, names, quotes, scenes … Before I know it, I’m already in the thick of it and there’s no turning back.
And sometimes, yes, I do experience writer’s block with a story. Luckily, I don’t find it all that frustrating because I have other things to write while I let that one problematic storyline to sort itself out. And again, the process repeats itself – while I’m working on something else, in the background, my mind will come up with a solution for the problem. The projects can be completely unrelated stories, but it’ll work nonetheless.
It is sort of a cyclic process. In order to get ideas, you need to write, and you need ideas to write about. You just need to start somewhere; it’ll be rough at first, you’ll feel uninspired and hopeless, but it just takes one spark for the flame to be born. Just watch out once it starts to blaze.
One percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.