Every writer has faced the blank page and despaired. White is an intimidating color if words are your passion. You need to get those pesky words down but lack the inspiration to do so. So...you let a day pass thinking that surely tomorrow you'll write. Tomorrow comes and that niggling doubt that you had pushed to the back of mind, creeps to the forefront and you find yourself looking at the same white page. Again.
You feel impotent. So you start filling your time with "other" engagements like the laundry or organizing your lifetime collection of dental floss. Whatever.
The time away from your computer lengthens and the voices in your mind quiet to the point of silence. Your muse jets off the Tahiti. One way ticket. First class.
What do you do? Well, I am here to tell you that unless you are under a contracted deadline--relax. Sometimes there's a reason why the creative juices dry up and little time away from the frustration of staring at that field of nothingness might be just what you need.
For me, a serious case of writer's block translates into a warning signal to take some time for me. Invariably this means I need to pick up a book--no, not a book on the craft of writing or the art of literary publicity--what I need is to do is immerse myself in another author's work. I need to remember why I write.
Lost in someone else's world, living with their characters, I remember my own (in a WIP) or ones that only whisper at the fringes of my imagination.
Today, I raise my virtual glass of OJ to toast Elizabeth Peters for her Amelia Peabody mystery series. I'm only halfway through the books but the one I finished last night reignited the flame of my writing desire. Why? She writes cozy mysteries, set in turn of the century Egypt no less. Not too much in common with modern day paranormal rom-com. Ahh, but you see her stories aren't about the mystery as much as the characters and how they handle the obstacles--personal and professional--thrown at them. In this book, one character failed her test pretty miserably. This character has recognized her mistake but the "growth" won't happen until the next book (which I don't have--arrgh!)
That spark made me realize in my next WIP (that is in the percolating stage) my own heroine is going to make the wrong choice--big time. I now know what the choice is---I just don't know how to fix...yet.
Hmm...maybe I need to read another book. Anybody know where the nearest B&N is?
Read to Write.