There is a reason why this blog is called NM’s Writers Bloq (yes, that’s a q at the end, not a g!).
The dreaded disease had spread its big, black bat-like wings around me once again.
I have 3 stories patiently waiting to be completed. I usually like to work on more than one story at a time because if I hit a slump with one, then I can just switch to another without wasting any time. This being my supposed cure for writers’ block. Sadly I recently hit a slump with all three at the same time. Talk about hard luck!
I’m very proud of my reaction to this however, as usually I get very depressed and start questioning myself and doubting my abilities (okay, this did happen too, but it only lasted like, a day!).
This time, instead of putting the focus on myself, I focused on the stories themselves. I decided to write, in journal-form, my thoughts and feelings about each story.
I tapped into my subconscious and wrote, without any reservations, what I hated and what I liked about each story. And I got some surprising results.
For one story I realized that it was my attitude that was holding me back. I was so worried about what others might think that it prevented me from progressing with this story.
The second one was proving a chore and only after writing my feelings down, did I realize that it was only because I hadn’t done the necessary research I was suppose to initially, that I was lacking confidence with certain themes in the tale. I’m such a big fan of research. I’m always harping on about its importance yet for this story I seemed to put very little effort into it due to my laziness.
My third story was actually a result of a nightmare I had. The dream gave me the idea for the story but because the dream made no sense realistically, I wondered whether my reader would feel the same way about what I was writing. I also wondered whether my writing would do justice to what I thought was very, very scary. Would the reader also find it scary or would they think it’s just stupid?
Who would have thought that writing down my thoughts and feelings would reveal so much? And without thinking too hard it also provided me with the answers as well. It was like Tom Riddle’s diary-Harry Potter writes a question on the page and an answer appears to him on the very same page. Except in my case the answers were benevolent, positive and very helpful. It helped me provide the solution to the unique problems I was having.
For the first story, I thought of famous authors who had written about the same themes or issues in their novels. I realized that they didn’t seem too bothered about what others might think, so why should I? I’m happy to say that I’m almost finished with this story. 🙂
For the second tale, of course, it was obvious. Research, research, research. The more knowledge you have at your disposable, the more effortless and enjoyable your writing will be. Simple.
In number 3, I convinced myself, that if I found this story scary, then others might too. Hell, the fact that I refuse to work on this piece at night, has got to mean something!
All this took less than half an hour to do, yet it proved most invaluable. Self-help books always advocate writing down your general thoughts and feelings in a stream of consciousness. This form of stream of consciousness-writing works for any problem, trust me. My humble advice is: do this for your stories, your novel or any WIP that is lying stagnant. You will be surprised at what is revealed to you.
As writers you would think that the most obvious thing to do if you have a problem is to write it down. Sometimes the most obvious things are the most elusive.