Wednesday 4 January 2012

Writer's block

I've taken this week off from work (a) to use up my remaining days of holiday (b) to ease the pain of going back to work after the Christmas holidays and (c) to crack on a bit with my writing. By the end of last year I had got to 45,000 words and had written over half of my novel. I was feeling pretty pleased with what I had written and I had received some really positive feedback from my little focus group of readers.

Throughout the Christmas break I had been looking forward to this week as a time when peace would reign again, and I could happily sit down and while away the days writing more and more of my precious book, and begin to edge towards its climax. One thing I hadn't anticipated was rather a sharp a dose of writer's block. I'm struggling to write much of any real quality and have only managed another 3,000 words. For the first time the doubts have begun to creep in - is what I'm writing really any good? am I wasting my time and indulging myself? has the text begun to lose its spark and energy?

I seem to be up and down like a yo yo - looking out of the window, watching the news, planning the evening's meal... there seem to be no end to the reasons why I can't sit still and carry on with the task in hand. The task I am committed to and want to achieve. A moment or two on Google - yes, another distraction - leads me to believe this is a hugely common episode, and most often found when writing the middle passage of the book. Apparently Joanna Trollope often has the same problem, so perhaps I am in good company!

But I won't let this beat me. I do have confidence in what I am doing and I know where I am going with it. I have discipline and if I have to wade through treacle for a short-time then so be it. I won't give up or be beaten off course. And those voices of doubt won't halt me. I will get there in the end... even if it really is one word at a time!


  1. I cannot wait to read it published x
    I hope this 'block' passes...

  2. Thanks! Fingers crossed one day... ;-)
    Block seems to be passing. Will get through it! x

  3. Hi Elly,
    Perfectly normal to set off at a sprint and then get stuck. All the characters are in play, the adventure has begun, what now? You may need to look at the pacing and what the current dilemma/s is that your characters are facing. Do you need to throw a bomb into the story (not literally) to give them a new question to resolve? How high up the '8 point arc' are you? A lull can be a good thing. Like a middle eight in a song, or the Raindrops bit in Butch Cassidy. Like Kate Bush said to Peter Gabriel. Dont give up.

  4. Thanks feller. I think I got a case of the heebie jeebies and lost some confidence in myself and whether what I was writing was any good. However, has passed and I'm nearing the end now - 60,000 words done, two and a half chapters to write. Hoping to get it finished in the next few weeks - blocks permitting! x