Saturday 18 June 2011

Writer's Block

Writer's Block
I don't know if any of you have ever suffered from the so-called "writer's block". A lot of writers will tell you there is no such thing, that you just have to keep going and meet your deadlines regardless of how you feel.
When I moved from the house my children had grown up in, an ancient cottage surrounded by acres of spoilt English woodland, seven months ago I assumed I had no desire to write because I was so stressed by the move. Downsizing is the most difficult – it might mean you now have access to the capital that was tied up in your house but it also means you've left your memories behind and are trying to squash your life into a building half the size. By haven't felt settled here and even looked at another house somewhere else in the village.
I have been busy - don't get me wrong – I still spent several hours a day my computer working on something related to writing but what I haven't been doing is writing anything new. No, that's not quite true. I did complete the Regency I'd started before the move. I have also rewritten five books and completed the edits and proofs for three of them. I twitter, blog, facebook, e-mail and visit chat rooms every day. All part of what's needed when you write for an e-publisher.
However, writing was no longer easy. If I achieve 1000 words a day I am doing well. It felt as if I had to push the words through a sieve, when before they poured out freely. I started a YA fantasy before I moved and had written the first three chapters. Thinking I had a gap between edits for Aurora/Aspen Mountain Press I decided to try and write some more of this.
Then yesterday, miraculously, it was as if a barrier had been removed from my brain. For the first time in seven months the characters came alive on the page, the story became real to me. I wrote 3000 words without stopping. This morning I got up eager to get to my computer, knowing writing would no longer be a chore but a pleasure.
I wasn't aware that I had "writer's block." But now it's gone I can vouch for the fact that it does exist. Yes, you can force a way through it, keep writing and even produce work that is as good as before. But something that was a part of you, an obsession rather than a job, will be missing.
Today I no longer want to move, am happy in my new house. I had really begun to believe it was the house that was stopping me working. My joie de vivre has returned and I am back to what I want to be – a writer who lives for her work.
Fenella Miller


Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I've never thought of writers' block in that way, but I can see what you mean. I'm glad you've got your joie de vivre back. Happy writing.

Fenella J Miller said...

All writers write no matter what -but to me writer's block was not having the words flow, not having the excitement of living the story with my characters.

Noelene said...

Fenella, I agree. I'm having the same trouble at the moment getting enthused with my Aussie historical. Plus life is intervening with interruptions coming thick and fast which doesn't help and is probably a large part of the problem. I love your analogy of "pushing words through a sieve"... :)

Fenella J Miller said...

I also have to find time to talk to husband - edit books and blog/tweet and answer e-mails. In future I'm not going to open my inbox until after I've written my 3000 words -that way I'll get this book finished.

Freda Lightfoot said...

That's a good tip, Fenella. There are times when the blogging, emailing and managing ebooks can get in the way of the creative urge to write. I try to confine those jobs to certain times/days of the week, but emails are a daily nightmare.

Fenella J Miller said...

I've now got the edits from hell to do - so yet again wip is sidelined. At least this time it's not because I can't write but because I haven't enough hours in the day to do edits and new writing.