Writers Block; The Brick Wall Of FRUSTRATION

When asked; what is the hardest part of writing I will always give the same answer; WRITERS BLOCK! It is by far the most frustrating thing about the job. Especially when working to a deadline; I always set myself deadlines and most of the time will meet them. But when writers block hits it is like running into a brick wall. One minute everything is flowing; your fingers can’t stop the idea’s and words are flowing that well then out of nowhere it just goes and you are left staring at a screen and everything you have written just doesn’t look or sound right.

For any other author/journalist or any other form of writer who has experienced this; as I am sure you have in some form or another I am willing to bet you will agree that when this happens it feels like you could scream or cry, or in some cases both. For me I don’t know which is worse, when you are just starting a project or finishing it. Either way I have personally spent days looking for inspiration in some bizarre ways.

Take for instance when I was writing Mistol A New Beginning; at the time I was living in a studio flat, a good sized one granted but after a while even a good sized studio flat can turn you stir crazy. Especially as when I write I rarely leave home. In fact it got to the point that the artist who was working with me at the time would bring me in supplies. Now I don’t do drugs (I think they are a waste of time), and bar a stint when I was younger I don’t as a rule drink (maybe one every now and then) but I do have my vices. I do smoke and I do drink coffee (more so when I am writing). In fact at one point whilst writing Mistol several people mentioned I had dropped a lot of weight (mainly as my diet had consisted of Caffeine and Nicotine for about four months) NOT something I would suggest! In any case back to the writer’s block… I remember about halfway through the first draft I hit the block and I was heading towards a deadline I had a month to finish the next four chapters and I had only done one. Not too bad, couple of days and I could shake it off and keep going. Two weeks later I was banging my head against an actual wall; my daily deadline was 1,000 words a day, weekly 5,000 words which gave me two days to step away from the computer; it also meant that if I was under by a couple of hundred here or there I could make up for them. By the third week I was sat in the bathroom writing just for the change of surroundings. Still nothing came. I was in trouble; so as a last ditch attempt I did something that others may find strange.

Now again; this will sound strange but after three weeks of nothing I started talking to the characters. I would sit on my bed with a pen and pad and ask them where they saw the story going. I grant you that most of it was mapped out for me as I was rewriting it on behalf of a family who lost their daughter. She was the one who wrote the original manuscript. Which made it harder as Bannesa wasn’t there to give me direction. So as I spoke essentially to myself and jotted down notes of what I should have included, changed and taken out (baring in mind I wanted to keep it as close to what Bannesa had written as possible) I slowly began to build up the next chapter. After a couple of days of this I had the next chapter plotted out and was back at the computer, needless to say I did not make that deadline despite working eighteen hour days for the next week.

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Book Signing; In Memory Of Bannesa Rose Ayers

There are so many ways to tackle the block you have to find your own way. For me it is completely embracing the story; completely living it, allowing myself to be drawn in. For others it may be stepping away from it. It’s just a wall in your mind, there are so many ways to break it down, and so many people who have been there and can help. Just ask them; myself included.

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6 thoughts on “Writers Block; The Brick Wall Of FRUSTRATION

  1. Writers’ blocks are indeed a pain. I usually go for long walks with my headphones on and just try to picture what’s going on. I need a clear visual account of what’s going on, otherwise it just won’t work. I’ve also tried writing from coffee shops, parks, and friends’ houses when I get stuck. But talking to your characters sounds like an awesome idea! I hope I don’t need to try it any time soon though!

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