Teen Shiver Tabs

September 10, 2011

Writer's Block Sucks. Need a Cure?

Those of us at Teen Shiver are insane.
Literally, clinically insane. Why? Because we are WRITERS. We hear these nagging, haunting voices in our heads, and so we write about them to stay ‘sane.’
Sometimes writing is AWESOME. It’s fun. It’s super creative. It keeps us company, and when we wake up in the morning, we just cannot WAIT to get to work on the WIP and bust out some serious word count.
But what about the other times?
Say, when we get up at 11am and our brains are fuzzier than a peach… We sit down to write, open up that mother document, and then……crap. NOTHING comes out.
Or maybe something does come out, and it looks a little like this:
“Insert hilarious quote here.” or “Make reader get pissed here because so and so does this here.” or “insert 59k words here….skip to ending. THANK GOD ITS OVER.” “Blah, blah, blah, I wonder if my agent is even reading this section, blah blah, blah, omg need more chocolate, blah blah blah, time for some more ice cream.”
Ever have that problem? You start a WIP. You love it, you hate it, you scrap it, and then start all over again because NOTHING works. It is JUST THAT AWFUL.
So what is the problem? Is it fear? Have you fallen out of love with writing?! (GASP! NEVER!) I’ve always believed that Writer’s block is a bunch of crapolagranola. I’ve always thought that if you have ideas and stories to tell, then you will never have a problem with them. But guess what? I was WRONG!
I freaked out when I realized this. I sat on the couch and moped and ate ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. I talked to my dogs a little too often, saying “TELL ME WHAT TO WRITE, CANINE!” I walked once around the block. Took a nap. Took another nap. Walked around like a zombie for a week, asking everyone at the bookstore “WHY?! WHYYYYYY?!” while shaking them.
And then….and then…….the light from the gods of writer heaven shone down on me while I was shoveling down ice cream watching reruns of LOST, because that is exactly how I felt…..and finally, FINALLY….
….I realized what the problem was…
I have discovered what lies in that black little heart of Writer’s Block. It isn’t that you suck at writing. Trust me, your words are sooo beautiful. Take them to a cathedral and read them, you’ll see. It will make a nun cry. It isn’t that you have a horrible idea. We’re sure the idea totally rocks, and I’m sure that your characters are hilarious and angsty and there’s hot boys and all that stuff that YA is full of (which we love, btw. Not complaining).
if you are experiencing this…FEAR NOT……
Here’s what we’ve discovered at Teen Shiver. Writing MUST come from the heart. If it doesn’t, your words will come out muddled and not so pure, like that water bottle you once left in your car on a super hot day. It just doesn’t taste right when you come back to it. There’s that nasty tang of plastic, and the heat isn’t helping. We all have those ideas that we think “hey. this could sell. Like REALLY sell. But oh…I’m not so into it…Oh well, I’ll write it anyways..” Stop right there. don’t write it. Do NOT even think about it. Don’t write for the current market. Remember, that most of the books selling like hotcakes right now, were actually sold 2 or 3 years ago. Editors are more likely than not, wanting something else by now.
If you love your WIP and it’s not treating you quite right, never wants to cuddle or play card games instead of watch football…oh wait. Writing. This is not about men. this is about WRITING….yes…
Take a break. Find a way to inspire yourself. Listen to music. Talk a walk. Sit down in front of the mirror and talk about your characters. Libba Bray suggests INTERVIEWING your characters. This is an awesome way to figure out what’s inside of them, what makes them tick, and it reallly helps get the creative juices flowing. Write something else! Journal! Make a fancy paper hat and FLAUNT that thing in public, guuuurl! We are writers. Writing is hard work. But we do it because we LOVE it, and without writing, we would not be who we are. It is time spent alone in a quiet room, or in a cafe drinking too much coffee. It is working things out, getting to know your characters, and finding out ways to get them in trouble, then get them out of trouble, only to put them right back in it again. Don’t give up. Take a deep breath. Hang in there, and know that once your HEART is in the right place, once your heart falls head over heels in love with the story, everything will fall into place. (But don’t forget, it takes a few drafts to get to that sweet spot).
So relax. Breathe for a few minutes. And then, once your heart is ready…


No comments:

Post a Comment