I know, I know, Stephen King says be a professional.
Plumbers don’t get plumbing block.
I was going to write about social media for writers but I got exhausted just thinking about it.
I considered my favorite writers’ rules for inspiration. Here’s a good one from the aforementioned writing guru: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” I’m dying to take Stephen’s advice and dive into Louise Penny’s latest.
But I put the Kindle down.
Usually when I want to avoid writing, I do housework. Some people exercise (bless their hearts). Some cook, some paint. But for undeniably necessary excuses, you can’t beat housework. I mean, look at those dust bunnies! That laundry isn’t going to fold itself. I have to pack for Bouchercon! Better plant those bulbs. My poor husband will starve unless I go to the Stop and Shop right now!
Why does this happen? Why do I want to avoid writing? I love writing. Or, more honestly, I’m in the Dorothy Parker camp: I hate writing. I love having written. Plus I have a deadline. Actually, I have more than one deadline: One for Book Three in my Lobster Shack mystery series and one for a short story anthology I’d love to be in. Being in an anthology is a kick. Writing is such a solitary activity, while being in an anthology, seeing what other writers come up with for the theme, that’s actual writing fun.
But I have to rake the leaves…. and do research....here.
Turns out that some researchers believe writer's block exists and for some people, stress can trigger it (see aforementioned social media for writers). The article was reassuring and reading it, I wasted a total of ten minutes I could have been writing. Research, right? (Writing Avoidance 101) The researchers also believe writer's block can be beat. I’m simplifying a complicated article, but there was an effective remedy: professionals gave the blocked writers “exercises in directed mental imagery” - essentially writing prompts.
This led to an epiphany. Sometimes that’s what I need – a prompt to write to.
I gave a cold shoulder to the clean but unfolded laundry and pulled out my laptop. My writing prompt? How to beat writer's block.
Sorry, honey, takeout again tonight. The laundry will have to fold itself. It’s time to write.
How do you beat writer's block?