by Jude Mason
I had an almost uncontrollable urge to simply whine for a second about not knowing what to write and leaving the rest of this blank. You may wish that's what I did.
Years ago, I had bouts of writer's block, where I simply sat in front of a blank page, or even a page half-filled with writing, and proclaimed I couldn't think of a thing to say. I can't honestly say if I allowed myself the pleasure of 'time off' or if this was really an affliction that I felt I needed to get through in order to write my next bit. I suppose it really doesn't matter. It happened, and it's history.
When I began writing for a webzine called, Darker Pleasures, both the genre and the pace of writing needed was daunting. The webmaster/owner had very specific requirements, which proved to be an enormous chance to learn and stretch my imagination. Every month, and I do mean every single month come hell or high water, the site put up new content. That meant the writers had to produce consistently. The pay was good, the photos we were given to work with were excellent quality and the man we worked for was helpful in the extreme. But, putting out a minimum of 10K a month, sometimes more, on the same topic, month after month, wasn't always easy. I often managed to do much more than 10K. A photo story paid more but was expected to be longer. There were times when the webmaster needed an extra story, an author couldn't meet a deadline or perhaps had some other deadline to meet, and I filled in.
I learned then that a writer's block really wasn't a good idea.
Yes, I have had times when a story didn't work. I've had characters argue with me, others simply refuse to play nice. There's always a way to get the story moving though, if you need it to. Change the characters around. Move them, add someone else, do something to shake the story up and you'll get movement. LOL
When I left Darker Pleasures, I'd learned that a deadline was a very good thing to have. It gave me strict guidelines I follow. I'm one of those people who just doesn't miss deadlines. If I say I'll have something done by next Tuesday at 9 AM, it'll be there.
Have there been times when a story doesn't get finished? You betcha! I have several I'd like to complete, sitting on my hard drive right now. When I have time, I take them out and look at them, but I have no idea if they'll ever get done. I hope so. Possibly if I see a call for submissions where one might fit, if it was done, that'd egg me on enough.
But, blocked? Me? Nope, I refuse to allow it to happen.
Oh, I could go into a time when one of my characters stopped me cold. I suppose that might be refered to as a block. The man was a dominate. He'd just said to his submissive wife, something like, "Get in the car." then he'd taken a few steps towards the door, reached out to open it and BLAM! That's where I stopped. The man refused to open the door.
It took me several days to figure out what the problem was. The character would no way have opened the door for his wife, not at that moment. As soon as I realized it, the words came.
If that's a blog, I'll gladly have them. Hopefully, I'll realize what the problem is faster as time goes on though. LOL
An interesting topic. Can't wait to see what everyone else says on the topic and I'd love to hear what you all think of writer's block.