Why You Don’t Have Writer’s Block

There’s no such thing as writer’s block. No, really… there isn’t.

Yes, every project will reach a point — somewhere along the way — where you don’t know what happens next. Or maybe something’s not working. And then the writing slows. Then it stops. You don’t know what to do, where to go. So you put the project away. You move to something else (or worse, nothing else). You’re blocked. Oh, the horror!

Calm down. You’re not blocked because… like I said, that’s not a thing. It’s an excuse.

What’s actually happening is that you’re giving your mind a chance to what it does so well — create. These slow-downs, these times of… uh, what now? aren’t something you should fear, they’re something you should embrace.

If you won’t take my word for it, how about what Steven James says in Story Trumps Structure:

“When you’re working your way between drafts without any specific plan of what will come next, it doesn’t mean you’ve reached a dead end or have writer’s block. It doesn’t mean you’ve stalled out. It means your mind is working in ways you don’t even notice to solve the problems you might not even be able to articulate.”

Your mind is always at work, even when you don’t know it. Give your story time, (yes, maybe a lot of time), and you’ll be amazed at how what you thought was writer’s block just crumbles.

My best advice? Always have more than one project burning. That way, when you hit a point where you need to give the subconscious mind time to do its thing, you’ve got something else to occupy your time. Need more — here are a few specific tips to aid the writing restart process.