No Writer’s Block? Try Writer’s Slump

I’m taking the lazy way out today and cross-posting from my Live Journal Blog.

I won’t argue with the people who insist there’s no such thing as writer’s block, just introduce my own take on it. And it’s been a hell of a slump — somewhere around two weeks stuck on the same chapter of The Warden and coming very close to giving up on it until later in the year. My slumps are usually the product of a problem without a solution. Where is the plot going from this point on? How is a character going to respond to something that has just happened or is about to happen? That kind of thing. The problem generates a vicious cycle, a downward spiral that looks as if it has no exit. I get depressed about the problem, and the depression makes it harder to find a solution. Down and down and down.

The only way out is to keep banging my head against the wall until something happens. Maybe a brick falls out and there’s a ray of light. Or maybe the blood dripping into my eyes generates an idea that couldn’t have come about in any normal way. Nobody ever told me that one of the most important qualities for a writer is sheer stubbornness. Never give up. Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Whatever.

So, I’m about to finish the head-banging, hair-tearing chapter of The Warden and it’s possible that I will finish it this month instead of chickening out and leaving all my holding-their-breath-for-the-next-chapter readers with a summary of where I think it will go next — some day — when hell freezes over.

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4 thoughts on “No Writer’s Block? Try Writer’s Slump

  1. Looks like we have the same problem. I have writer’s block at the moment. I get depressed about being stuck in my novel and it makes it harder for me to find a solution too. Sheer stubbornness is important or writers would give up before they ever got started. Good luck overcoming your slump. I will come back to see your progress on The Warden.

  2. How frustrating! I find that leaving the story and going on to something else temporarily helps. Usually the plot works itself out while I’m driving or ironing or walking the dog. Once a whole story unravelled itself in a dream and I couldn’t write it down fast enough the next morning before I lost it.
    I wonder what the etext symbols are for good wishes. đŸ™‚

  3. Bea, sometimes working on another story helps, but sometimes it’s like a thorn in my side. It’s distracting, but I can’t pull it out.

    You’re so lucky to find a whole story in a dream. Or anywhere else. I’m more likely to get a fragment of an idea just before I fall asleep. If I don’t get up and make some notes, it will be gone by morning.

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