So, you're sitting there, your fingers combing through your unwashed hair for the umpteenth time thinking why, oh why, oh why did I ever begin this story!?

You've been editing for days. You've made some progress. You've also noticed some humdingers of some problems. And you're overwhelmed because how on earth will you evereverever in a lifetime finish it all?

And all you want to do is clonk your forehead on the desk so hard that you knock yourself out. Death is preferrable to the agony you're now experiencing.


Go write another story, one you enjoy. Go read a book. Go watch a movie. Go walk the dog. Go lay in the hammock and do nothing. Go play the piano/violin/guitar/ukulele. Go. Get away from that story.

Not for very long, mind you! A day, a week - 21 days tops. (Why? Twenty-one days is how long it takes to form a habit...you don't want to form a habit of no writing!) But, for goodness' sake, take a break! You're killing yourself, you're in agony! Neither you nor your magnum opus is worth this misery.

Take a break. Go do something else. Come back refreshed.

Don't believe me? The epic Elana Johnson and Natalie Whipple agree.

What about you? How do you deal with I-must-smash-my-head-against-the-wall-instead-of-writing-ness? Take a break? Press on?


Andrea Mack said...

Sometimes I switch and try to work on something else. Or, start writing a journal entry about the problems I'm having in my writing (that sometimes gets me thinking about how I can fix it). But yeah, breaks are good.

Anne Gallagher said...

I do housework or yard work. Physical activity, for some reason it has to be that kind, somehow breaks through my creative block.
Don't know why. Maybe it appeases the guilt I have over not doing that to work on the book but then when the house/yard is disgusting, that guilt gives me my block? Hmmm. I may be onto something here.