Wednesday, October 1, 2008

To Inspire or Not Inspire

I've only experienced writer's block once. Usually when I'm writing, if I hit a snag, I skip over the troublesome part and move on to the scenes that are vivid in my head. Without fail, once I get there, the rest of the book is a cinch. Many times I realize the reason I was stuck on a scene was I didn't need it in the first place.

It's always been that simple.

"Let's get her!" I hear you cry. But wait. I did say I had writer's block only once. But that lasted 5 years.

For me, it was not so much about the technique to cure writer's block, but finding the reason why.

I'm a born-again Christian and as such I felt I had to write inspirational romances. I started the book, got about halfway through and got stuck. For years I tried to figure out why. I'd go back to my WIP, read it through, hoping that would kick my muse in the butt.

Nothing. She was either sleeping or dodging my eager foot.

Then, one day I was talking to my brother, who is a Reverend. I explained my woes to him and he asked why I insisted it had to be an inspirational romance.

That's when it hit me. My writer's block wasn't due to a stubborn muse. She was ticked off because I was forcing her into a genre in which she didn't feel comfortable. I like inspirational romance, but I've only read a few. So why am I forcing this?

Once I let go of the belief I was boxed into one genre, I went back to that book and finished it in two days.

I know a lot of people who try to write in a certain way. Either similar to their favorite author or because one specific genre is 'hot' in the market. If you find yourself staring at that blank page, ask yourself, "Is this really the book I want to write?" If it is, then try the many wonderful techniques my blogmates have suggested.

If not, then allow yourself to write the book you want to write, not the book you feel you have to. Five years is a very long time.



  1. What a great post. You are so right--writing doesn't work when it's forced. I'm glad you found your groove.

  2. Thank you for a personal and inspiring post. One thing to think about, I've learned a lot from fiction. If something really touches me, if it feels real, if I understand what the author is sayinig in a visceral way; at those times I have learned truths. It isn't the genre you write, it's the truths you weave into your work.

    Good luck!