I rarely get writer's block nowadays.
But it's an event that occurs in a writer's mind that causes them to stumble and seize up their writing.
Was I always this way? Oh, no. What did I do to remedy it? Let's explore . . .
In the infancy of my writing career--we're talking in elementary school years now--I used to write the first few pages of a new novel, and for whatever reason I'd quit. I never really understood it. In seventh grade, my parents bought me an old black typewriter (yes, you heard right, a typewriter) that had to weigh close to fifty pounds. (Watch the Stephen King movie Misery to get an idea on what it looked like). I wrote about thirty or more pages, single-spaced, of a ninja trilogy. The weird part is I had the entire trilogy all laid out in my head but I stopped at those thirty-plus pages. I never did anything else with it, and it had nothing to do with writer's block. I just didn't think the story was worth writing. I didn't think anyone but me would want to read it. But who knows what the distant future will bring . . .
My earliest recollection of writer's block was in college. I was working on a deer hunting horror story--the first novel I ever completed (see a previous blog on how I celebrated this milestone)--when in one of the first few chapters I didn't know how to go on. At one in the morning, I was getting pretty tired even though I still didn't go to bed. I continued to write for a few more minutes, not really paying attention to what I was writing, when all of a sudden I wrote something I never intended to write. It was like someone else's hands were on the keyboard. I stopped. I had no idea where to go from here. Yawning and finally feeling the affects of sleepiness, I went to bed, the story rolling around and around in my head like tumblers on a safe.
In a flash, I awoke and the rest of the chapter appeared before my eyes. Could I wait to write this until morning? Not a chance. I spent the next hour (it must've been after two in the morning at this point) writing the rest of the chapter.
How else can one handle writer's block? Start with a different viewpoint. In my first novel, I actually wrote one chapter from the point of view of a white-tailed deer. What else? In the thriller I'm currently editing, right in the middle of the book, when I was going to bridge the gap between the murder investigation with a plot-twist that upped the stakes on a more personal level, I had the main character be involved in a traffic accident that landed him in the hospital. I didn't really plan this either. It just happened.
Writer's block may also be solved by simply writing something else, starting a new project, or even reading a book--I know we're all reading, but how much is a topic for another blog.
What are your writer's block stories?