Beautiful rain brings beautiful mushrooms
Do you ever get stuck on what to do about something? Anything?
I had a fan who is writing a book and she asked me how to overcome writer’s block. But some of these steps can work for anything–don’t know how to solve a problem?
- Research–when I’m trying to figure out if something will work, I’ll do research, or if I want to know if something has ever been done, research. That’s how I fixed my garbage disposal issue too. Even with artwork, I’m trying to figure out if the man and the horse are in proper proportions so I need to find a picture to remind myself just how big horses are compared to a man.
- Do something relaxing. Take a break. Watch TV. Read a book. Take a walk. I wrote 5,000 words yesterday, but I got stuck. So I took a break and watched a murder mystery teen drama and worked on bears. In the back of my mind, I was thinking of the issues I need to resolve in the current book. When I went to sew up more bear parts on the sewing machine, I had it! Sometimes moving away from the computer screen can help. Sometimes when I go to bed at night, I have no other distractions, and I begin thinking of the story. If I don’t write them down, I’ll forget them, so I need to grab my pen and paper and write. I had another scene come to me, but at that point, I just thought about it, and guess what? This morning it’s gone. Have no idea. So I have to write them down. The same with sewing. I had the ideas in mind, but I had to keep thinking about them until I could write them down. I didn’t want to stop what I was doing on my sewing. I did end up writing another 1,000 words.
- Work on a different project! Another story! Another repair project! Something else, just so you can feel you’ve accomplished something, anything. I do this when I get really stuck, like with putting something together. I read the directions and I can’t figure it out. I try again, take a break, try again. Okay, time to do something else. Then go back to it later. Sometimes doing research can help. Finding a Youtube video will help. Sometimes leaving it until the next day works, just getting a good night’s rest, and voila, it comes to you. I do that when I’m working on edits and they seem insurmountable. I look at it the next day with a fresh start.
- Sometimes I’ll get a notion from watching movies or reading books that will finally sink in for me and all of a sudden, I know what I’m missing in the book. No, not specific details that are in another book or a TV series, or whatever, but it’s like when I was watching The Walking Dead, and I noticed when the story was over-dramatized with the characters and all their issues, you forgot what the premise of the story was–staying alive and killing zombies. In my shifter stories, I have to show them in their shifted form. It’s integral to the story, just like zombies are in a zombie movie. When I was looking at my earlier historical fantasy stories that I was revising, I have heroines who are weak. And the heroes are bullies. My life changed, my writing changed. The hero and heroines both have their own courageous strengths and weaknesses. I couldn’t see that when I was working on the original stories. I couldn’t even see that years later. I love the story lines, but I need to revise them to show the kind of characters I write now and who are much loved. Sometimes it takes time to learn what is not working. I finally just realized what was wrong with them. If you see a situation you don’t like–change it. The same with artwork. Sometimes I love what I’m doing, and other times, I don’t. So I have to just keep working on it until I love it.
- Give up. Yes, you heard me. They said never to give up. But sometimes you just need to for your own sanity. Find another solution. Hire a plumber! Start over and write something different. I was trying to write to a market and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t. I didn’t love the story line, the characters, nothing about it. So sometimes we need to just give it up and go on another venture.
- Brainstorm. I do this with others and with myself. Sometimes when I’m brainstorming with someone, it will finally come to me. It’s there, hidden in my subconscious. Sometimes, they’ll have an idea that will work.
- Step out of your comfort zone. I see this with artists who say they tried something different and they’d stepped out of their comfort zone. Maybe that’s really their calling. I wrote historical fantasy to begin with, then historical romance fiction, and then psychics, teen books, vampires, and finally werewolves. The werewolves were really different for me, but that was it. The genre that gave me recognition. So sometimes trying something different will do it.
- Do you have to always do something in a specific order? Sometimes I need to write my scenes out of order. I don’t want to because it can be difficult filling in the blanks and making it work, but sometimes that’s the way for me to have a breakthrough. I’ll think of a future scene, keep ignoring it and then I finally realize it’s not going away and it will take days, weeks to reach that point in the story, so I need to just write it and get it over with and then I can get back to my more orderly writing.
- Re-read your book, look over your artwork, re-read the complicated directions. Sometimes when I re-read the book, I find all kinds of loose ends and then guess what? I have new scenes to write. I had written where the heroine had borrowed clothes–that’s the problem with shifting and not having your own clothes with you–so then I had more to write–she had to dress in her own clothes and wash the loaner clothes. She had been wearing loaner bunny slippers also. The hero had to carry her into the house through the snowdrifts. I could have made her stronger by having her run through the snow, but the slippers are borrowed, it’s a romance, and he’s the hero. But it was something I had to mention.
- Just write. Even if you don’t think it’s going to work, even if it has to be heavily revised, I often find if I just keep writing, most of what I write works. Also, whatever we write we can change. If you don’t try, it’s not going to happen. Just like getting anything done. If you think about it, stress over it, feel you can’t do it before you even get started, well, you’re sabotaging your efforts. Positive thinking. I can do it. It might not be the best ever, but I will do my best. Attitude can make a difference. When I was writing stories for publication eons ago, I wanted to be published. But then that changed. I HAD to be published. I HAVE to put the furniture together, or repair something. I can put off work, fill up my day with other stuff, or I can do what I have to do and just…do it.
So what are you waiting for?
Have fun! I’m off to write and edit and enjoy the rain!!!
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
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