One of my most favorite sayings is – ‘think of the worst scenario; – failure; think of the best scenario; – completed story. In the whole scheme of life how important is this?’ Of course a writer will feel failure to write is devastating – but my comment is meant to alleviate pressure. I find pressure itself – from yourself, from others – is a guaranteed way to suffer Writer’s Block.
There is also a saying that if there were no deadlines – nothing would ever get done. I believe this might be true. Playing is more enjoyable than working. Children know that. However if you watch children, sometimes work is play to them. I’m sure everyone with children can recall the time their own child begged to do dishes. To them swishing in the water was play. Perhaps they are right. Learn to enjoy work.
Another method I use when writer’s block happens is to just quit/put it away. Do something else. I find watching shows, reading books (although I am guilty of thinking I can do better sometimes), taking pictures and visiting someone or somewhere you like all help.
My first completed book was Hawk’s Gift. Since then I have changed it and edited often including changing the cover – but at this moment I was very proud of myself.
Oddly, I don’t suffer writer’s block very often. I do understand you can’t avoid the pressure when meeting deadlines. When that happens I find doing something else – just for a while is more helpful than staring at a blank piece of paper. Learn to enjoy the beauty life offers and you will be surprised at the way this method helps writer’s block. If you are complaining or worrying about other matters in your life it’s hard to concentrate on what you have to do for a completely unrelated topic. Unless you can figure out a way to incorporate the problems consuming your mind, you have to ‘walk away’ and find something better to consume your mind for a while.
I find organizing my thoughts into priorities helps me. Once I have placed a problem/project into its’ rightful place I move on to number two. It works for me.
When the Romance is gone
(…from a writer’s perspective)
My ‘writer’s block’ is inevitably when the ‘romance ends’. It is the only time I suffer from ‘writer’s block at all. If my senses are involved in other matters, I can’t feel romantic.
If I can’t see, hear, taste. smell or touch (feel) romance I can’t write romance. There are various methods I use to regain my desire to write romance. Some think that romance is a relationship between two people, but trying to ‘feel’ romance’ is more a ‘state of being’ and is all around you. When I am writing a romance story here are the methods I use to get that romantic feeling back, regardless of how my own personal life is going.
- See: – Seeing may well be the easiest of the senses to recover. To read a good romance novel, to visualize the hero in your mind and to feel all the other senses as well, always tells me reading is one of the best methods of retrieval I know. When I don’t have the time to read I watch a movie. It doesn’t have to be only romantic movies either. I have salvaged my sight from all sorts of unexpected movies. One of my favorite is an Action movie – Proof of Life. The interaction between Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe –melts my heart. Russell Crowe’s ‘look’ tells me so much about his character and it’s a basis I would use for my hero. When she asks him, while her husband waits in the car, to tell her she means nothing to him, he doesn’t answer. But I see his love, I see his honorable nature and I see control. All those traits combined with his strength and beautiful ‘Gladiator’ body is enough to get my creative writing back in place.
- Hear: – The first thought that comes to mind – songs. I wrote a contemporary romance “One Dance with a Stranger” solely by listening to Alan Jackson’s CD – Who I am. Although I used other crutches – mostly George Strait’s Pure Country and beautiful voice and looks – the whole story flowed easily when listening to the Who I am CD. It was the easiest of my four published novels to write.
- Taste: – One word here – chocolate. Although of course there are other foods that might do this – for me it’s chocolate. The feelings chocolate evokes inside can cover multitude of wonderful sensations. Just make sure you sit down and write because it can be distracting.
- Smell: – Perfumes, bath oils (combined with the actual bath), roses and taking a walk or ride into nature are methods I use. Nature can evoke all feelings needed to write for me at times. I always think of Judith McNaught’s – Something Wonderful –her heroine loved the smell of ‘dirt’. She created a beautiful scene and interaction between the hero and heroine. And she used a substance – most people would never consider – the smell of dirt.
5. Touch (feel): I rely mostly on my memories for this sense. From a memory of a sad time, a happy time, an angry time and all those thousands of feelings to use – we all have them. We do not have to be writing about our heroine or hero’s feelings. We all know what it’s like to be sad – so it doesn’t matter whether it’s you losing your puppy – or your heroine losing her farm – those feelings of sadness will be the same. First I analyze my own feelings and write a paragraph on my own feeling of sadness. Then, if I only take one small sentence to portray my heroine’s sadness – I have created a true feeling. I should warn writers on this. If I use a tragedy or especially a ‘bad’ memory – it drains me, at times to having anxiety attacks. But, when I am done I know I have written truly from within.
These are my own methods for writing romance when I find myself losing my sense of ‘romance’. It won’t work for everyone, but it might help others to seek their own ideas on the five senses which can only improve your writing. Good luck.