September 9, 2013

Kill Your Blank Pages: Resolve

No quitting. 

The final post in our series.

If you read through all the other series articles and thought, "Yeah, so I know all that. Those aren't my problems!" then this article is definitely for you.

You see, there comes a point when you can't prepare any more. You have your storyline and cast. You have good writing skills, experience, and inspiration. You know exactly how to adapt your trade to the way you think.

So sit down and write!

Really. That's all this post is about. Alan Foster once said that “The thing all writers do best is find ways to avoid writing," and he's completely right. If you feel stuck in your writing and can't write, the reason may very well be that you just WON'T WRITE!

How to Know if You are Your Muse's Worst Enemy

As a former procrastinator myself, I know there are few things harder than to force yourself to write. Strangely enough, we writers seem to fear it more than anything else about our trade and hobby. Whether it's because we doubt our abilities, or because the unknown scares us, or because we're just plain lazy, we often just WON'T. 

This is an especially big problem for writers who have never completed anything before. Last spring I completed my first novel, and it completely changed my perspective on writer's block. I realized that all those times before that I thought I had to do this or that before I was ready to write, I was actually just inventing roadblocks for myself.

It may be to same case for you. In fact, I'm guessing it's pretty likely that it is. Deep in your heart of hearts, ask yourself why you're holding back.

How to Buck Up and Do It

Okay, so you've admitted to the greatest sin that a writer can commit. So how do you move past it?

--Practice! Keep a Journal. In the previous post I described how to keep a writing journal to enhance your understanding of yourself. It's also the best strategy I can think of to discipline yourself to just write, even when you don't want to. I'll post a great article on exactly how to do this best later (it happens to be in a notebook about 1400 miles away from me right now)

--Moodify yourself. Keep track of what puts you in the mood to write-- whether its a certain location (my bed <3), a yummy drink, a time of day, wearing that one t-shirt, a cat, a soundtrack, thinking about your favorite character or scene in your novel, a movie, etc. Then use that to put yourself in the mood!

--Write with a friend. Or not. Back to the idea of self-analysis from last post, figure out whether you write better with a friend to keep you accountable (or not!) Do you like getting together with a group of friends at the local coffee shop to write together, or do you need absolute silence in some holy sanctum? Be there.

--Um. Write. Pen to the paper, nose to the grind. That's all.

Well, that's it! We've made it through KILL YOUR BLANK PAGES: A TEN-PART SERIES ON WRITER'S BLOCK! Here's to hoping you found a tool to help you kill your blank pages-- but if you think I've left out some powerful tool, let me know! Share your wisdom!

In the meantime... That's all for now, folks. :) Good luck on your writing journey, and may the best word always win.

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