#navbar-iframe { display: none !important;} The Naked Page: Low Flow Days

The Naked Page

Author Jamie Sobrato's Diary

3.22.2006

Low Flow Days

(No, not that kind of low flow day! We're not that naked here at the Naked Page. Ahem.)

Cindy wrote to me yesterday and told me about her problem with writer's block, and she has plenty going on in her life to keep any sane person from writing. But the problem is, like most writers, Cindy is not sane.

So she keeps trying in spite of the fact that her muse is lying battered and bloody in the gutter, begging for mercy or perhaps a Snickers bar. And my muse is right there with her. Life stress does have a way of getting in the way of our creative efforts. For me, even the slightest change in routine makes it hard for me to write, and significant upheaval can wipe months away from my writing schedule.

So what do we do? There is no cure-all for writer's block. There isn't one fix or even several fixes to recommend. There is just you and the naked page, or maybe the very badly dressed page, staring at each other and making no progress.

The first step is realizing the problem, and the second is just making yourself do something different. If you show up at the page every day, with the same routine, and nothing happens, you have to change things up. Change the place where you write, or if you are writing on the computer get out the paper and pen, or if you are working on Chapter One leave it alone and work on Chapter Fifteen, or do all of those things, or two of them, or something else entirely.

Just don't keep banging your head against the same spot on the wall. Now I'm off to follow my own advice and find a new spot on which to bang. Maybe one with a nice view.

7 Comments:

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous melissa said...

Aw Cindy, I read your blog. Hang in there, it won't always suck. Hopefully soon you'll get a piece of good news to break up some of the suckiness. I find that I'll go several months with no news or no good news and I'll get really down, but then something nice will happen (request, contest final, whatever) and that's enough to give me another boost.

Changing the place I write has worked for me in the past. Also lots of caffeine at around 8:30 will keep me up and inspired until about 2 a.m. :-)

 
At 5:33 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Ah, the good news effect. That kept me going for years, Melissa. Just when I was ready to throw in the towel yet again, I'd get some little bit of good news that would keep me going another six months or so.

 
At 6:13 PM, Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Thanks, Melissa! Both for reading my blog and for the commiseration. If you dropped by today, you'll see I'm making some progress. Still not writing, but finally doing some REAL pre-writing instead of fantasizing about it.

I agree with Jamie. The first step to overcoming the block is admitting you HAVE a block. And trying something different works, too. I decided to STOP trying to write and to read instead. That worked! It reminded me that, even though an editor has approved a freakin' 2-paragraph blurb doesn't mean I have to stick with each sentence of the blurb! (she wanted one thing changed, and when you change one thing, well, it changes how you think about your entire story and characters--at least it does me). And I remembered my AlphaSmart got fixed, so took it to bed with me and got some brainstorming done.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring? (aside from a trip to the next town to get my teenager's root canal finished...)

Cindy

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Oh, yeah, Jamie, don't think I didn't notice that little dig about me not being sane!

Unfortunately, I can't argue.

Cindy

 
At 6:58 PM, Anonymous bethany said...

Hmmm, when I feel uninspired I just launder things, with the idea that when I do feel inspired there will be less to launder, therefore more time to write. Unfortunately there always seems to be an abundance of things that need to be laundered and almost no time to write.

 
At 1:09 PM, Anonymous bethany said...

so, have I killed the blog with my boring laundry comment? Sorry.

Here's a more interesting question. How does your writing life reflect your sex life? I find that creativity fuels my sex drive, which may be one of the reasons Lee is so accomodating about making sure I have time to write. . .

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Hmm, intersting question Bethany. Maybe this warrants a blog topic of its own...

 

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