Eight: Put In Your Oars & RowA Lesson by Belator Books
What to do when you're stuck...
Many, many writers have had a “great” idea and the talent within them to write it, and yet the book never comes to fruition. It is a literary tragedy, but an avoidable one. While many of us are busy beyond imagination, most of us reach a point each day where the responsibilities fall way and a few moments of quiet ensue; in these cases more often than not procrastination trumps passion. After a hard days’ work a simple cot is magically transformed into an alluring plane of slumber; the television is playing your favorite show; family shows up at your door for a visit, or the phone rings and your friends want to whisk you off for a little light clubbing. These things in of themselves are not detrimental to the creative process and have--in some cases--revived writers from a prolonged ‘block. However, the foul trap lies in such distractions combining together and repeating themselves day after day. The weeks, months and then years slip by and the little pile of notes/half-filled notebook/Word file which represents your “great” idea gathers dust.
I know the feeling. The writer in you wants to write; you feel it in your bones and blood: the longing to get your ideas out and onto paper, to share your book with the masses haunts you at night just as you begin to fall asleep… but somehow it just never gets completed. These moments are nearly as bad as the doldrums, or famous ‘writers block’, for any writer to experience, but the remedy is much the same:
It's an ominous word, yet the concept behind it remains one which even the most Bohemian, free-spirited writer can appreciate, as far as getting results. Even if it’s just a few words make yourself write a little each day. Keep a notebook by your bed and as you slip under the blanket, write. As you wake sit up, stretch and write. As you stand by the table--sipping the morning coffee--write. Make a ‘date’ with your notebook after work, or during lunch and jot down notes in a park or garden. The variations on this concept number as many as the day hold minutes from which to choose. The mere sight of sentences being completed and stacking up delightfully thick on the page feels like something akin to receiving an adrenaline shot, figuratively speaking. Later on the edits can commence but, for now, write as never before.
Family can be a help, verses a hindrance. While writing my first full-length book I received daily prompts from my husband/consultant, ranging from subtle hints to outright inquiries; such suggestions initially annoyed me but just in time I remembered why the prompt was necessary and what exactly was at stake. Biting back a sharp retort, I’d sit down and write in the moments of respite. Looking back on those moments gratitude overflows my eyes at the recollection, for we now have seven completed novels in a period of four years, with three more in the works.
If you are stalled at the beginning of your book journey, or sitting idly on the surface in the doldrums, put in your oars and row. Only then can the great piece within you begin to emerge, for the book will not write itself.
Added on September 14, 2011
Last Updated on March 4, 2014
AboutThe Styles are two fiction writers with day jobs. Married 17 years, 4 children and an organic garden. Twitter: @BelatorBooks & @writerlrstyles WordPress Blogs: www.lrstyles.wordpress.com www..