Monday, April 18, 2016

Just Keep Writing, Just Keep Writing....

I posted an original blog post about my biggest fan on the OTP blog yesterday (, so today I'm offering a "rerun" of a Back Deck Blog post from March of 2015.

It happens to almost every writer at some time or another. Despite the great ideas pinging around in your head, the impatience to get to the next scene, the excitement of getting another story down on paper, you hit a speed bump and you have no idea where to go next with your words.

If you look on the map, that's where I am right about now.

I'm in the early pages of my fourth book in my Black Horse Campground series and I know where the story is going; I know what's going to happen; I have the scenes all worked out in my head and even know what the dialogue is going to sound like... later on in the book. But I'm not so sure what's supposed to happen between where I am at the moment and where all the above is supposed to take place. And I admit, I'm stalled.

What to do? Well, as tempting as it may be to convince myself that shelving the project and starting a new one is the best thing to do, it's not going to make this road block go away. Neither is immersing myself in a non-stop "NCIS" marathon and eating copious amounts of Blue Bell Italian Cream Cake ice cream (I'll save that for when "NCIS" is cancelled.) So I am compelled to take the advice of one of the most endearing Disney characters in recent years (though if you knew her in real life, you'd probably run in the other direction when you saw her coming):

Substitute "writing" for "swimming"

I've found that what works best for me when I encounter a "block" is to write through it. Of course, the reality is that perhaps 90-100% of what I write during this time may be discarded once I find my true path and sometimes it's a struggle to sit down an do it every day... but the record has shown that, for me, the best thing to do is keep trudging ahead. Eventually, I see a path and then it leads me to the place I need to be. Then I can look back and see where I went wrong and go back and clearly mark the path so others (my readers) can follow where I've gone (I do, however, keep track of my meanderings; after all, they might not have been the path for THIS book, but they might mark the one for the next!)

While I might be the last person to boldly go forward past the sign that says "Road Closed", I've learned that when writing, it's always best to proceed, perhaps not with caution, but with a sense of adventure. You never know what you'll find around the next bend.

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