Writer’s block! O joy. All writers get it at one point or another (unless maybe if you’re Stephen King). And boy, does it suck.
It’s incredibly easy to fall off the horse, especially since we exist in a world so full of readily available distractions. Not sure how to finish that sentence? How about you take a ‘five minute’ break? Don’t know how to channel your characters in this exact moment? Maybe rewatching a few episodes of your favourite show will give you some ideas! Have a dozen totally awesome story ideas lying around that you just can’t put the words into? The best remedy for that is watching hours upon hours of cat videos online! 100% success rate guaranteed!
Yeah, okay, so maybe most of the struggle is just self-control. Maybe some preventative measures could and should be taken next time. But nevermind the cause, because the consequences of writer’s block are always the same, and you are totally, crushingly feeling them right now. When you get stuck, it feels like you’ll be stuck for good. You feel desperate to write, yet loathe the prospect of writing anything because you know it’ll all just be a mishmash of disjointed ideas with no direction. And then after, it’s only with about ten centuries of time and heaps of Herculean effort that it’s possible to back into the groove.
And so the notorious story of writer’s block goes!
This process is made much more likely if you are trying to write the first draft of a novel.
The sheer magnitude of words, blood, sweat, and tears that go into a long-term commitment like a novel is exhausting. Burnout is highly likely, and worst of all, you might even end up permanently giving up on a project. One day, you’re super motivated and in love with your characters and plot, and the next, you’re throwing hundreds of thousands of words away because you no longer believe in it or know how to continue it. It’s been said that doubt is the worst enemy of imagination, and since novels are largely based off of imagination, losing motivation or confidence in your work is the number one most deadly killer of novels. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down, said “This is it. This is my novel”, wrote a beautiful and eloquent beginning page, and then totally gave up and threw the rest of the story idea into the pits of oblivion.
If you’ve ever sat down and tried to write a novel, you’ll know how painful it can be at times. You’ve probably grown a few white hairs out of frustration, and have probably also been tempted to throw your computer across the room on multiple occasions. You find yourself wondering how the hell it is possible that some writers have been able to spit out novel after novel after novel, and be brilliant in every single one.
Well… why not seek some inspiration and advice from those very authors? We may not all be Stephen Kings and Agatha Christies, but we can try to learn a thing or two from them. Today, I’ve compiled some quotes from notable authors who’ve been where we are and have gotten through it. If you’re in need of some words from the wisest to help motivate you to get back on the writing horse, read on!