Monday, March 9, 2015

Brain Freeze and Writer's Block

Every time I finish a book, the thought crosses my mind: Will I be able to do this again? What if I can't think of another story? Ice cream can't begin to compete with the brain freeze these questions generate.

Once the pain subsides, I go back to square one. I remember how God helped me write the other books. Prayer got me over the hurdles of plot twists, getting characters out of trouble, and a host of other problems.

As a seat-of-the-pants writer, my process is simple. An idea is born, and I sit down and write. One baby step after another, one word, sentence, paragraph, chapter after another. Then I type, "The End."

I'm not a daredevil or risk taker by nature, so this feels rather like jumping off a cliff. Each new project requires a leap of faith. From past experience, I know everything will work out okay.

Still - that first step - it's a tough one. I will get through this. I will survive.

Writers:  What's the toughest part of writing for you?

Readers:  Many situations can create anxiety. How do you get past it and take on new adventures?

Photo Credit: becco


Jean Fischer said...

The toughest part of writing for me, as a freelancer, is meeting very tight deadlines. Sometimes, I write 10+ hours a day, and I get really tired. I've learned with any anxiety producing situation just to calm down and remember that God has it all under control. The enemy loves it when we allow ourselves to get upset, so I try not to.

Karen Lange said...

Sometimes I have trouble sitting down and getting started on a writing project. Other times, I stall midstream, as it just doesn't seem to flow right. Prayer helps a lot, as does insight from my one of my favorite critique partners (Ahem, aka Susan...). :)

Anonymous said...

Starting is always the biggest challenge for me. Starting any writing session really, even if in a middle of a project. Doubt sets in whether writing is really where God wants me to spend my time. I like your way--prayer and one step at a time!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean - That's a tough schedule! Calming down and trusting God is essential to surviving as a writer.

Hi Karen - LOL! You do the same for me.

Hi Lynn - Yes, that whole sit in the chair and write thing is a lot harder than it looks.

God bless,
Susan :)

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Can I do this again? Yes, I recognize that questions. With my non-fiction books I ask myself: can I hear God again? I just started working on my 6th book, finally. I told myself: just do it, start! Make a beginning :)
Well Susan, it can be done and it must be done. We've started, right? No turning back.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Great questions, Susan!

As a writer, taking that first baby step you mentioned is often the hardest for me, especially if I'm not writing from an assignment, but just to submit to a magazine or anthology. Once I make myself type the first paragraph, it gets easier.

As to anxiety-producing situations, reading and meditating in the Psalms helps me. Then, remembering all the pickles God has rescued me from in the past!

Unknown said...

Hi Susan:
The toughest part of writing for me is to push past the "fear factor"& share it with others. It's taken me 15 years to get "Aedistamen" to a point of being published. I'm sure I could have been much further ahead years ago. But I'm grateful for the opportunity to finally see it coming together. Hopefully, I will be more assertive for future works. Tony