It turns out worldbuilding was my hurdle. The second I came up to this particular hurdle in writing my story, I did the equivalent of running around in circles in front of it Kermit flail style and shortly thereafter lying down in the dirt with my fingers in my ears shouting, “LALALA IT’S NOT THERE IF I CAN’T SEE IT!” Why my fingers are in my ears when I’m trying not to see something I’m really not sure, perhaps that’s just how my brain works when it shuts bits of itself off. But then I had a little rant within my writing group and people dragged me up and told me to just do it. Get it over with and get on with the rest of the race because let’s face it, if I don’t, I’ll never complete it.
I don’t know how you pushed my brain into activity again but somehow it worked, and I went off to my drawer and dug out my writing notebook which is full of random story ideas which I’m glad I wrote down because I’d completely forgotten about and perhaps one day I might revisit them. Within, there are ideas for a fantasy. There are the early ideas for my current project, a few more recent ideas, and some really really old ideas plonked in the back including “The World of Avalonia” which is incredibly naff but I love the idea of a table to go through things, and the little dragon doodle is quite cute.
It’s now 1am so I am off to bed but rest assured that tomorrow I will face down that hurdle and tell it that it is definitely not my problem and jump over it. Or in actual terms, I’m going to sort through my notes and make sure I have a naff map, a little history and culture for my world, and a skeleton of a story so that I have something to direct my characters towards. Then I shall start Eshne’s (my main female character) short story.
I’m struggling to write, but it’s not writer’s block. Actually, in my googling to rid myself of this stupid “I can’t write” disposition, I read somebody say that there’s no such thing as writer’s block and they have a point but that’s just a small aside.
See.. I know precisely what I want to write. When I’m sat writing I’ll think, “Well okay, how does X react to this? What might happen next? What obstacles can I throw into their paths?” And it’s quite easy to keep going this way. I know that right now, my characters don’t know each other but they are severely pissed at each other.. or.. one is pissed, the other is afraid. They’re going to sit down and finally talk to each other, find out enough about each other to trust each other on the journey they’re about to undertake together, and explain why they’ll be taking it together, but the words just won’t come! It’s not even a confidence thing. I read back what I’d already written and sure it needs a little spring cleaning but it’s not bad. So why can’t I write? Why do I sit down, manage a couple hundred words, and then find myself unable to continue?
I asked you guys on Twitter how to overcome this and you had some absolutely great tips which I absolutely have to post below, but you see.. I don’t need something different, I need the motivation to plow on. Perhaps it’s my depression. So how do I go about kicking depression in the shins, giving it the middle finger, and getting on with something I’m passionate about? I’m guessing the only answers are “try to write anyway” and “take a break and come back later”, but if there’s any advice, I’ll take it.
Anyway, some tips for folk who feel they’ve come to a road block in their writing and might find these tips useful!
Every writer I know has trouble writing. –Joseph Heller