Well, that’s Christmas out of the way. We’re now sliding down the slippery slope towards 2020 and getting back to the old humdrum routine of life.

And honestly, I’m in two minds about how I feel about that.

On the one hand, I’m sad that I only have a few more days off work left.

On the other hand, I’m almost kind of glad, because I’m wondering if getting back into a routine will help me kick this massive bout of writer’s block that I’m experiencing. 

I don’t generally suffer from this particular malaise. Usually the writing comes easily. This past week, however, I’ve written very little, despite actually sitting down to do it. 

It’s not for lack of ideas. I’ve got a fuck-ton of those! book 2 has been planned for a while, the whole outline put together in my Monster-Master-Spreadsheet! I’ll admit that sometimes I get less than enthusiastic about writing some of the ‘filler’ chapters (the ones necessary to move characters around the chess-board so to speak!), but some of the chapters I’m trying to write I’m quite excited about.

Some of them I’ve actually sat and daydreamed about, picturing them in my head. I know the dialogue, the actions, everything.

But the words aren’t flowing onto the page.

I’ve wondered why…

The only thing I can put it down to is Christmas. 

I’ve eaten so much I feel unhealthily bloated. My sleep pattern is all kinds of whack. There’s so much going on right now that it’s distracting me. 

So, that’s my problem…  And my first question for you guys is…

Are any of you having the same issue?
Or do you recognize the symptoms?

If so, what do we do about it?

I’ve tried both writing in silence…and having background noise. Everything from movies I know inside and out, to music that usually relaxes and inspires me.

I’ve tried jumping back to book 1 to do a little editing, hopping into my spreadsheet to plan and plot, and jumping around book 2 to try and find interesting things to write.

My next thing may be to go and try some art. That sometimes relaxes me and prods the writing process into action.

DEFINITELY I’m going to get my lifestyle back on target this week. That means sleep at the right time, and eating foods other than carbs!

(I secretly suspect that this will fix the issue!)

But if that doesn’t work… I’ll need your help.

So my follow up question becomes…

What do you do when the block strikes you?

I’m inviting you guys to come and offer your advice to anyone (like me!) who may be struggling at the moment. 

Help and advice welcome in the comments below.

Love & Books

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  1. Sarah K.

    I’ve been battling the same thing for about six weeks. Six long damn weeks. I churned out my first book and half of the second in eight weeks, so I had delusions of grandeur thinking I would continue to clip along at that pace. And then…gridlock.

    I should also note that I know my story just like you do, but it won’t come out for whatever silly reason.

    For the first month, I struggled and cried and beat myself up. Then I finally walked away. Now it’s been two weeks since I’ve given myself permission to put it down and I am finally starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

    Perhaps you felt that it was important to make use of this Christmas holiday time and days off of work to be super productive and that subconsciously put pressure on you. We do these things to ourselves with expectations and timelines and I think we don’t realize that we’re sometimes causing counterproductivity in the process. Try to enjoy your last few days and know that one way or another, when the time is right, you will do what you do best and write.

    • Jon Ford

      Thanks for the comment Sarah, I think that’s absolutely spot on.

      I knew I had almost 2 weeks off work over the period and had already put an expectation in place that words would flow freely and I’d make huge strides on getting book 2 closer to completion. In actuality I’ve probably written around 3000 words total… prior to last night when I had a minor breakthrough (ironically just after putting up the blog post!).

      Sometimes just talking about it just helps break the words loose.

      I’m glad you’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel. 😀
      If you ever need a sounding board, my DM’s are always open to fellow writers.

      • Sarah K.

        Thanks for your reply, Jon! It’s always nice when an author interacts with their followers. 🙂

        I understand about talking it out. It’s kind of like a bad dream…sometimes you just have to tell someone about it to get it out of your head and come to terms with reality.

        I’m really happy to hear you made some progress! And thank you for the offer of DMing for a sounding board. You never know…I may just take you up on that! 😀

    • Liz

      That was some very good insight. Do you mean that sometimes we overwork our brains and then it shorts out for awhile? That is kind of what I took from that.

      I do that as well from time to time, but when the words come, I have to write them down. No matter how much it takes out of me, I have to write them down. If I don’t, I feel as if I’m letting my gift down by ignoring it.

      • Jon Ford

        Definitely. That’s very much how I feel.

        The good news is that I’m back in the groove now Xmas is behind me. The words are starting to flow again. 😀

  2. Mason

    This is like going to the sink, turning on the water and nothing comes out. But don’t think it will never come back on, because it will. It always does. I used to get frustrated like anyone else, but I soon learned that it does no good. Getting upset doesn’t get the water flowing. Time does. Give it time Sarah, it’ll come to you.

    • Sean

      I think of negative things to write. 99% of the time when I sit down to write, I do so with positive goals. When the block hits me, it makes sense to me to switch tracks like this and, usually, it works.

      It’s like eating vanilla ice cream for years on end and then, one day, you just don’t feel like vanilla anymore. You lost your taste for it. You miss the ice cream, so you pick up a tub of mint chocolate instead.

      • Jon Ford

        Oh this is absolutely true.

        It has helped no end to keep multiple WIP’s on the go for other stories. That way when one starts stalling I can switch tracks to another for a while to keep things fresh. The eventually (and usually it doesn’t take that long tbh) the urge to get back to the pain piece comes back.

        And I LOVE Mint Choc!!!! mmmmmmmm!

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