Every Monday through most of April 2018, MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR focuses on the art and craft of writing, from Shannon’s perspective or that of guest authors. To catch up on all posts, check out the MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR portion of the website! Please note that the column will move to second and fourth Tuesdays beginning May 2018.
This week features Shannon’s thoughts on the frustration of writer’s block, not being able to seize the moment of inspiration, and looking for solutions.
Writer’s block happens more for me than I’d like, in part from struggling to block out a time specifically to write. Other demands in my life don’t allow for a fully structured schedule, so while I try to stick to a pattern, I’m not always successful. The hardest part is when I have an excellent idea, but can’t stop to write it down because of what else I am doing. Then, later, I never fully remember it.
The worst part is finding the time to write but not finding the ideas. One of the big things I will do, when stuck on a project that’s due, is find a snippet of something else that I did manage to jot down and just play with it. Without the pressure of deadlines and goals, and just being able to play, getting those words down starts to open up my thinking and generally something will occur to me for the other story. The danger, of course, is that the side path will get so interesting one might not return to the item with real deadlines. It’s a risk I’m willing to take; I’d rather be writing something than nothing at all.
What I personally don’t have is a good toolkit to break through writer’s block on a specific work. Do you have any ideas? Please comment on the post (remember that comments are moderated), and let’s see if we can get some discussion going between those of you out there reading. Maybe we can help one another together.
Until next time!