We’ve all heard those terrible two words entirely too often. Whether it’s a question or a string of unproductive thoughts, if you are a writer these two words may bug you as much as they bug me. Which is a lot, so realize what you are coming along for. I don’t hate these words because I fear them, I hate them because they simply aren’t true.
I’m gonna switch from saying “we” to “me” because I’m gonna say some weird stuff here.
My inner-doubt can transform into a dragon following me down the rabbit hole as it burns my toes with his fiery breath. I’ve gotten a lot better at managing my negative thoughts when it comes to my work and what the hell it is I’m doing but they are there, and a weight to manage. From the conversations I have had with other writers, this is a common theme. Inner-doubt is part of the gig. Saying I have writer’s block is one of the nasty tricks our minds pull and is an inaccurate way to put it.
Try this instead: “I have some more world building to do,” or “I need to dig deeper into my characters.”
That’s the truth.
I used to panic when I’d suddenly come to a halt or get hung up a detail that could quite easily be the first thing cut during edits. I think I’ve mentioned this on my podcast or right here, but writing questions to yourself is an amazing tool for unlocking your brain.
Seriously try it.
What is Molly’s motivation?
She feels a moral responsibility to free all the magical rabbits from captivity.
What is the island’s power source?
Because the island is inside a vortex in a hidden part of the ocean.
It’s fun and how I work out a lot of kinks. I’ve been talking a lot to other writers recently about the importance of trusting ourselves. It’s hard for me. I constantly suspect that I’m up to no good. If something is telling me it’s not right, or it’s awesome, I need to listen to it and not assume my mind is out to get me for some godforsaken reason. I have to write everything down on paper for that reason. My brain clicks in different ways with a pen to paper rather than fingers on keys.
Writer’s block isn’t real. Not being able to see what comes next just means you have more thinking to do. Take a walk. Do a headstand. Make a playlist. Walk away. I almost always get the best ideas while I’m vacuuming. Write down everything you think until you find something cool.