Various items of stress are piling up as I near graduation. It’s not a bad stress, but I do need time for myself every now and then. No matter what I’m doing, I always make time for my writing. It’s more than a hobby—it’s happy work!
The longest I’ve ever gone without writing was about three months, and it wasn’t as if I didn’t care anymore. It’s one of those ‘once you stop you can’t restart’ kind of things.
I’m not the only one who’s suffered from that. What is one to do about it?
I had a very nice and long conversation with a friend of mine from class. She’s also a creative writer—like me—a vivid creator of fantasy worlds who puts everything she’s got into her stories.
Today, she told me how it’s been pretty long since she worked on any of her stories. I don’t believe she suffers from writer’s block, since she does have ideas—plenty of them. What she can’t do is sit down and actually write.
Well, in our case, type.
I’ve been there before, as I’m sure most of you have. And we all might’ve fallen into that void for different reasons, and likewise found different ways for getting out of it. I’ll share in this post what I told my friend, and hopefully it helps anyone.
My friend is a very studious person—intelligent and diligent when it comes to school work. She says that she just wants to focus only on her writing, but something still stops her from writing. What could it be?
I suggested that it was the need to focus that was blocking her way. We both enjoy writing. What we shouldn’t do is turn it into a homework assignment for a deadline that doesn’t even exist.
Don’t overthink your writing. It’s a living thing—don’t rush it.
You might have plans in your head of how everything will go, but you shouldn’t write like it’s the final draft. Just dump everything you have onto the page and give yourself some time.
I’ve read… well, everywhere that you shouldn’t edit as you go. And that’s true.
It’s great that you have every detail sorted in your mind, but if you want to jot down the whole thing you’ve got flying around in your brain, you’re going to need to plow through and get it all down first.
Unless you have a deadline (which my friend and I don’t), editing all the minute little details can wait. First, get the skeleton onto the page.
I’m sure that works of art aren’t all painted in one go. There’s the sketching and planning to do first. Just get the basics down.
Planning Is Optional
Some people work great with outlines. They have an outline for every scene, chapter, the backstory—everything has a plan. And that’s great.
Some of us don’t do outlines. For instance, take little old Saffron here.
I have the gist of a story in my head. If I have a scene idea, the first thing I do is scribble it onto a paper—anytime, anywhere. I got around five pages of two scenes written today (during class, but still…). It’s nothing great. I primarily write down dialogue first, as I’m always focusing on character.
So I suggested to my friend she do the same. Every little scribble you get down is a puzzle piece. I have folders of pieces, random scenes written in random order. As I start on the body of the story, I’ll stick in the scene piece when I come to it. It’s the the neatest way of doing things, but I’m just happy I’m getting writing done—as any writer should be!
I write because I love it. I enjoy creating worlds, characters, relationships… that moment when a scene just works that you can’t believe you wrote it… when you make connections you didn’t even realize you were making….
When you characters begin to walk and talk… breathe on their own…. Sound mushy, I know, but it’s a great feeling. That’s why I write. My friend understands this as well.
Find a Writer-Friend
My friend was glad to have someone to talk to about the characters screaming for attention in her head. Anyone else would look at her like she was crazy, she thought.
I said, Girl, you don’t want to know what my character’s have been saying.
Having a friend who thinks on the same wavelength, who has the same passion and deals with the same struggles as you do… it really helps.
I hope the talk I had with my friend helps her get back on her feet.
And I hope these friendly points help you if you’re in that void.
Thank you for your time.