I've never experienced it before, so when it happened to me, my nerves went raw. When the ideas don't flow, when I can't think up a plot, when my characters aren't aren't talking to me, their lips sealed and I can't get into their heads that's writer's block and it's what makes my heart race like crazy.
Not in a good way.
It's been days of me trying to work out a plot. And I think to myself "Tonight, I'm gonna sit my butt down and finish the synopsis. I won't go to bed, until I do."
Three attempts later, I find myself lying on the sofa, eyes shut, trying to sort out my character's conflicts. I'm close, I know I am, but it's not working. My partner in crime and masterful plotter, my husband tries to help. He's great coming up with ideas. He's great to bounce ideas off of, but nothing's working. My head clouds up. I can't think. Nothing's coming and everything's coming, all at once.
I console myself. Start on the synopsis, get something down. Didn't Nora Roberts say to put garbage on the page, then fix it?
Finally it dawns on me. I'm trying too hard. I need a break. It's been 21 books over 10 years of writing and for the past three years, back to back to back and double deadlines. Maybe I need a break. I need to free up my mind. I don't mean a vacation, because writers know that even when we're on vacation, we're writing in our heads, accessing situations for suitable storylines, noticing surroundings and people -- it's obsessive, it ridiculous and it's wonderful. For most of us, it's truly what we were meant to do.
Most writers are compulsive and if I may, slightly neurotic. There's always the devil in your head questioning you, what if I can't do it anymore? What if I am fresh out of ideas forever?
So, I backed off. I didn't think about writing. I read a book, (always good for inspiration). I went for frozen yogurt, did normal things, got away to the beach, tried not to think at all. I freed up my mind. I didn't press. I didn't demand.
And guess what? The story came to me. It uncluttered in my mind and I saw the characters for who they are. I have the story now. It's there and it's exciting and I'm over the block and the panic. I never thought it would happen to me. It's wasn't pretty. My husband was great, comforting and tried to help. The support meant so much.
So now I'm off- to finish the synopsis and start my story. I'm back in the saddle. It's where I'm supposed to be.
Remember --contest continues: Post why you think Men Are Happy People from Monday's blog and you'll be entered into a drawing on Friday!