Sunday, 30 November 2014

Is there such a thing as writer's block?

As this is the month of November I have been doing the annual NaNoWriMo challenge. As always there has been a mixed approach to this. Mostly the words flow and other times I feel like I have slammed into a brick wall. This got me thinking about writer's block and whether this really exists. 

There have been times in the month where the words just would not appear in my brain never mind the end of my fingertips. To put this into context I have had a busy month. I released my first book in the DI Shona McKenzie series and there has been all the attendant work which goes with this. My time has been taken up with Author events, book signings, and generally letting people know it has been available. Add to this that November is the start of the silly season which is the run up to Christmas. Add to this the stress of playing catch up with my NaNoWriMo word count and I think life just got a bit overwhelming for me. When I felt like this it was difficult to formulate words never mind put them into a coherent sentence.

It would be all too easy to allow this to take over and to say that I could not right. That things were just not working the way I wanted them to. This could quite easily lead to a protracted period of not writing which could be termed writers block.

However, this has taught me a thing or two about myself and my writing. Firstly, I get so many ideas when I am lying in the bath relaxing and not really thinking about anything. Obviously this blasts my mental decision that I cannot write and my mind, left to its own devices, takes over. Going out into the garden and staring at the burn (stream for anyone not in Scotland) has the same effect. It calms me down and allows my subconscious to strut its stuff. 

The second thing I have learned will make me sound plain weird. Still I will throw caution to the wind and tell you. I'm a writer after all and us writers need foibles. I write better if I go into my office and sit down at the computer, dressed in my work clothes and with a pair of shoes on. I think this has to do with the fact I have gone out to work all my life and my mind cannot get over the fact that I need to be dressed certain way to produce. Slippers and a dressing gown are all very well for relaxing, but if you want to do that writing thing, boy you'd better be dressed for the part. 

So overall I have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as writers block. I just need to free my mind and out the words will tumble.

Now that my mind is unleashed from its fetters I am off to do some writing. DI Shona McKenzie is off on the trail of a killer in book 2 and she is champing at the bit for me to join her.

I would like to finish with a question. What do all you writers out there think about writers block? Is there anything you do to get yourself past it?

By for now bookaholics. See you all soon.


  1. I think you are right, Wendy. Writers' block is something we use as an excuse not to get our working clothes on, roll up our sleeves and get on with writing.
    What I do is similar to what you do. I walk away from the blank screen, do a few stretches as I look out of my bedroom window at the fabulous view I have of the Peatland hills, then settle down and start writing. It may be rubbish at first, but, after a while, I find I'm back into the story. I can edit the rubbish out later, when it has served its purpose.
    Enjoyed your post.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it Christine. I love the sound of your views. It must be so peaceful