All literary fiction writers have problems with productivity related to ability and individual writing strategies. Writer’s block is a common term but it really doesn’t define a specific problem or suggest a consistent or dependable way to solve and proceed. The symptoms can be devastating—staring at a blank screen or page jilted by inspiration with quashed creativity. Here are famous authors’ solutions that might just squiggle your own path, for better or worse, to recovery.
- Maya Angelou: “Writing is like any art or sport. Practice makes perfect. Inspiration will only come if you push yourself to keep putting pen to paper."
- Neil Gaiman: “Put it [your writing] aside for a few days, or longer, do other things, try not to think about it.”
- Mark Twain: “Outline, outline, outline!” In essence, break your “complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks,” and then start on the first one.
- Ernest Hemingway: “... keep some inspiration in reserve. “Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day.” Let your subconscious work all the time. “But if you think about it . . . you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.”
- Hilary Mantel: “... clear your mind... because your mind is overwhelmed by... thoughts... that are crowding your brain. You need to create a space for your inspiration to fill.” (For detail, see Nicole Bianchi)
|Acclaimed award-winning novel (William Faulkner Creative |
Writing Competition) McDOWELL by William H Coles
If you can believe life’s minicrisies or drained physical or mental energy contribute to difficulty in generating innovative creativity, don’t be hard on yourself by blaming your troubles on a lack of ability and determination, but accept that the individual, day to day process and success of creative writing is always in flux. To weather the inevitable breakdowns that seem to affect all of us, you might try this type of thinking.
Finding a solution to loss of creative productive fiction that is personally satisfying and artistically accepted takes years to develop, like what a professional classic pianist must go through to practice superb technic and perfect performance to create individuality in interpretation and sound, and learn from extensive analysis of other artists how to generate an admirable career.
So, as authors, we must respond to the often inevitable expected downtime in our creativity by thankfully savoring our “writer’s block” writing time to study: writing of craft, developing clear effective prose, analyzing secrets of other writers, improving story structure and character-based dramatic plots, and always looking to other nonwriting personal-skills that require: concentration, mental and physical coordination, focus of attention on individual thinking and skill improvements, and that accumulatively produce synergistic success in reaching goals. It is true, writers achieve success in what we do as well as how we recover from obstacles by delicate adjustments of who we are and truthful self-awareness.
Make sense? Your comments would be appreciated. How do you respond to “writer’s block”? How do you use breakdown-time resulting from loss of productive, creative storytelling?
Respond at the original post. https://www.facebook.com/storyinliteraryfiction/posts/1625702114193841
- Coles, a fiction writer: https://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/essays-on-writing/the-anatomy-of-a-wannabe-literary-fiction-writer/
- Coles, author’s attitudes: https://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/essays-on-writing/author-attitudes/
- Nicole Bianchi on writer’s block: http://nicolebianchi.com/5-famous-authors-strategies-conquering-writers-block/
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Thirty-four award-winning fiction stories by William H. Coles: https://storyinfictionpodcast.com/