October 29th, 2007
One step forward, one step back

This is cross-posted to the Bradford Bunch Blog.

Some weeks I have kick ass productivity. I get into my character’s head and I turn out scenes like crazy. I click along, making progress, good progress, solid plot development. The words flow like stream of melted buttah.

Then there are weeks like this one.

This week wasn’t really much different than any other. I had a child to take care of, a house to clean, a part time job to work, various errands to run, but somehow the words lacked that flowing like melted buttah quality. I wrote, but then I had to cut**. So my word count is pretty much the same as it was last week. One step forward, one step back. I’m standing in place, yet, er…working to do it. It’s a dance most writers are familiar with. It happens sometimes. But next week I plan to kick ass and melt word buttah again, just watch me.

I’m philosophical about it. I know some weeks are better than others for productivity. You can’t make the words come when they don’t want to. Sometimes words can be stubborn that way. That’s no excuse, however, for not trying. I can’t count the times I’ve broken my way through a block, (yeah, I’m a little blocked right now), by simply writing through it. Sometimes what I write under these circumstances isn’t very good and sometimes I have to delete it. But the simple act of moving forward breaks the block eventually.

At time I look for reasons to procrastinate with my writing. (Internet, anyone? Laundry? Oh, there are lots of ways.) It would be easy to claim a block as a reason not to put words onto the page. But since I know that, for me, the best way through a block is to wham my way through the middle of it with raw word count, that excuse doesn’t work. (Darn it. )

All you writers out there, how do you work through a block?


**The beginning of the book isn’t coming together like I would prefer

2 comments to “One step forward, one step back”

  1. I think that’s why I don’t bother with word count. I focus on whether or not I got something done, be it a paragraph written or three chapters edited. It’s too discouraging and frustrating to count words.

    As for how to break through a block, I’ve found that those blocks tend to come because something in the scene’s not working. Usually whatever I wrote most recently. Once I rip that out, I’m off and running again.

    Good luck!


  2. I don’t bother with word count either, but then again, no one’s been busting down my door for my stuff :)

    I’m as guilty of goofing off rather than writing as the next person, but I find that doing the more mundane tasks like laundry or dishes helps me to mentally revise or create scenes. I’m also fond of using a notebook and pen to get scenes initially roughed out. If a scene idea pops into my head for later in the story, I write it out in the book. No blinking, impatient cursor on the screen to worry about. It’s getting from where I am in the story to those scenes that seem to take the longest for me. “Luckily”, I have lots of laundry and lots of dishes to do ;)