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#books #dystopian #publishing Abnormal escape the light Musings Novel Stress Thoughts Writing

Hidden walls and speed bumps

It happens a lot in the writing world: You’re going along at a decent clip, then BAM! you come up upon a brick wall that derails your train of thought or slams the brakes on your progress.

One of the biggest author questions I see on Twitter’s #writingcommunity hashtag is “How do I get past writer’s block?” (or some other version of that question). It’s an age-old question, and there are probably as many answers as there are ways to phrase the question–actually, probably more answers.

Everyone has a different method of breaking writer’s blocks, and no method works for all writers. I, for one, usually take a break, regroup, then come back and reread the previous work to remind myself where I left off and what’s going on. Does it work every time? No, but it’s been somewhat effective so far for me. This time, however, it’s not helping.

What next? Well, I could try any number of things..and that’s kind of the problem. You see, I have too many options here. I could do X, Y, Z, A, Q, W, or even go into the Greek or Cyrillic languages for more letters and still not run out of things to try. I could drink until something comes to me, I could try a writing prompt, I could move on to another WIP and work on it, I could scribble down a nonsense scene to get the creative juices flowing–but which one to do?

Is it possible to have writer’s block block? Because I think that’s a thing now. I can’t think of a viable solution to getting out of this rut.

“Where is Clare right now?” you might ask. “What’s she doing? What can happen to her to move the story forward?” Sure. Ask the easy ones. The ones I’ve already answered to myself, the ones that come first. How about a hard one? Like “What happens next?” or “How does X come to be?” or “Why is X happening?” Because those questions are plaguing me at the moment.

Maybe I’ll “freewrite” here….just let the writer’s block busters flow until something sparks something else.

Should I freewrite a scene? Jump to another spot in the story and come back to the stuck part? Work on another story altogether? Outline more? Should I open a dictionary or thesaurus or something and flip to a random page and close my eyes and point to a word and go from there? Interview my characters? Mind map? Ugh. So many ways to theoretically break through a block–and right now, none of them sound “right.”

At this rate, I’m going to be one slow author. I’ll be in my sixties before this series and the spin-off series are done! And what about other projects? I’d like to do more than one or two series and be done with writing. I want to branch out, write more varied works. I want to grow as an author.

Eh, what am I talking about? I’ll be fine. I just need to breathe. Take it easy. One sentence at a time. Maybe I should skip around. Or outline. Try new styles. Who knows? I could come upon the mystery solution to all writers’ blocks.

Back to the drawing board, I guess.

By AJ Mullican, Author

I'm a New Adult author who has written both urban fantasy and sci-fi/dystopian. My publisher is RhetAskew Publishing, and my novel ABNORMAL is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Wal-Mart online, or you can request it from your local bookseller or library. Look for Book 2, ESCAPING THE LIGHT, coming soon! :)