05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Thursday, February 19, 2015

I’m All Out of Love

Hello Loyal Readers J Thank you for stopping by.  I am Terri Molina, multicultural romantic suspense author. In other words, my characters and settings take place in border towns along the gulf coast of Texas.

For the past year I’ve been in a bit of a funk….and if you read last month’s post, you’ll understand why. And as if that’s not bad enough, I’ve also been hit with a debilitating case of writer’s block. The events of last year really built up a wall on my creativity and writing is becoming more like a chore than something I enjoy doing. Even writing this blog is drawing a blank….and I was given a theme!

As you can tell, writer’s block is frustrating. Over the years (because it’s not the first time I’ve dealt with it) I’ve tried to figure out ways to curb it. Like with any syndrome, I did a lot of research on the best way to deal with it and of course many of the answers were obvious:

  • Read more books
  • Watch movies
  • Take a long bath
  • Go for a walk
  • Take a road trip

So, because I’ve done these a time or two hundred, I decided to ask my friends for advice and see what it is that keep them at the computer day in and day out. 


Question:  How would you define writer’s block and what do you do to overcome it?


Robert Gregory Browne, bestselling author, former screenwriter

  • Well, I don't believe in it. Never had it. My feelings is that you simply have to sit down and write, no matter how bad you might think it is. Just put words on your screen. Sooner or later they'll start to make sense.
    Toni McGee Causey, best-selling author of the Bobby Faye novels.
  • I agree with Rob. If a writer is feeling blocked, then the issue is often not what they're writing, or trying to write, right at that moment, but choices they've made earlier that aren't resonating with their subconscious. Writer's block is (to me) simply the subconscious's way of saying, 'hey, you, you're missing an opportunity over here.' Often, the answer isn't obvious (hence, the feeling of being blocked), but if you sit down and write out all of the wrong stuff, the terrible stuff, you clear the logjam and the good stuff can start flowing again. You just have to give yourself permission to write all the crappy stuff first without worrying about whether it's good or not. It's probably not good. That's the point. Get it out of the way and then the stuff that's been percolating below the surface, the wild "what ifs?" will rise and give you the twists and inspiration you'd been looking for all along.

    There can be other emotional issues that swamp a writer--bad health, death of a loved one, etc. These things can slow some writers down and that's just life. In these cases, you have to just recognize it for what it is and give yourself time to be human, and then sit down, even when you don't feel like it, and write anyway. The words will come, in spite of how awful life may have gotten.
    Karin Tabke; National bestselling, award-winning author
  • Right there with Rob and Toni. 'writer's block' for me is when something is wrong with my story and my subconscious is refusing to go forward with what it knows is wrong. I can sit there and stare for days at a flashing cursor, but it isn't until I start to write, even free writing that my thoughts loosen up. some days it's sheer will power to get words down. but I also give myself permission to let the crazy go when nothing else seems to be working. b/c sometimes there are some gold nuggets in the crazy.
    Allison Brennan; NYT Bestselling author
  • What Toni said. When I get stuck, I re read what I have and most of the time find where I derailed.
    Sage advice from some of the best in the biz.  They are who encourage me to keep my butt in chair.  And that’s why I love them. J 
    I know the writer’s block is a state of mind….that fear of failure thing. And I know, the best way to get over it, is to just get out of my own head.  There are just some days, I need more convincing.


Judith Ashley said...

A post close to my heart, Terri. It isn't writer's block that keeps me from writing but there are times when life just knocks me down and the idea of sitting in the chair and writing, even reading a book much less watching a movie is more than I can manage.

I take a break. Give myself permission to not write or do anything creative. Sometimes I watch hours of HGTV. Most times I couldn't tell you what I was doing because it was mindless. Seldom does this last for more than a day or two.

If I can put what's going on inside me into words, I talk to my best friend who isn't a writer but who's known me for forty years.

And last, my first draft is just 'written'. I don't reread anything unless it's the last couple of pages if I'm been away from it for too long. It may be crap but at least it's on the page and I can do something with it the second time through.

I'm fortunate that I don't have to write. I have enough retirement income to support myself. I have the luxury of staying true to the joy of writing.

Thanks for sharing the writer's block advice from your friends. Hope writing this post helped convince you to stay in the chair!

Pippa Jay said...

I'm not sure I'd call mine block - more a loss of enthusiasm, inspiration, or getting stuck. Surefire cure - housework. My muse will do anything to get out of cleaning house! But music, books, films, stock images, even thinking about the bit I'm stuck on as I go to sleep often help. I've woken up several times with a new plot twist or solution to a hole I've written myself into.