That non-existent writer’s block

I have it right now. Whatever I start falters. At the moment it’s a story about a rocking horse sheep. Going nowhere. Literally. Also three books with plots in suspension. Whatever I turn my fingers to keyboardwise peters out after a few sentences. I’ve even, shock horror, resorted to housework today to try to shake things up.

We’ve all been there. So what does one do?

There’s a raft of ideas on multitudinous blogs. Most of them say keep writing. All I’ve written today is a humourous reply to a prompt on my Facebook writing group page that got some instant likes and a laugh from the prompter. Which was nice. But it hasn’t moved the sheep story one iota. It’s sitting there as stubbornly unmoving as, well, as a sheep.

So I’ve turned to a Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. I don’t normally read books on writing, but I’ve found it highly readable so far. It has a no-nonsense style, lots of short, to the point sentences with bullet points and minimal waffle. Okay, the author is a little bit in love with Dean Koontz but every good character has a flaw.

I’m in the ‘how to explode with plot ideas’ section. I read it on holiday last week and vowed to follow his advice when I got home. Did I? Hell no. And here I am. Blocked

What I should have done was:

  • schedule a regular time, once a week at least and
  • get relaxed, allow my mind to run free, at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted time and
  • select one of the exercises below.. etc.

I’ve got at least 30 minutes now. There are a ‘top 20 exercises’ from ‘what if’ to ‘desperation’ (i.e. writing about the wall/screen/coffee cup that’s sitting in front of you). Today I’m going to do, let’s see…obsession. “Create a character, give them an obsession, see where they run.”

I should also put a reminder on my calendar for this time next week to do it again. And again. Which reminds me. Writing group on Monday and I haven’t even looked at the task. Tsk Tsk.


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