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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why novelists could be suffering from "Writer's Block"

I had wondered why I would have begun to experience "writer's block" again, after finally breaking through in the last few months, having had writer's block for at least a good year prior to the breakthrough. Let me explain.

I had suffered with writer's block for a long time, and having begun to discuss with a therapist this issue, the therapist and I found a breakthrough, and I began writing again. In fact, I had a wonderful story/plot/whole novel come to me, and I began it during the NANOWriMo event in November. I began my novel, attempting to write 40,000 words in 20 days (I came into it late in the month!)

I was doing great, having NOT finished for WriMo, but having accomplished 25,000 words into my new novel, when I suddenly found myself completely 'BLOCKED' again. I didn't know why. But I realized something about me that I had not realized before. This realization made me aware of something about writers being 'blocked.'

I kept finding myself hemming the issue I was 'stuck on.' I was stuck on a very deep level, subconscious, philosophical issue, here, by which--I had never realized--I was deeply, deeply consumed. One of the major issues in my mind at all times, is the philosophical foundation I learned at childhood. What I do or say must always first be tempered by the question to my self: will this endeavor I begin be corrupting, disturbing, or irresponsible to the general public? Or, will it be beneficial, growth-producing, and elevating to one's soul or mental maturity? 

Why I explored this is because my novel is about a serial killer vs. a police investigator with some very strange ties and twists. But I did not explore my subconscious right away. It wasn't until I began to utilize some of the therapeutic tactics I was given by my therapist, to see why I was having 'blocks', that I began to realize this issue.

I realized that I was disturbed by some of the content about which I was coming to write, that I was unsure how to preset it in a thrilling, yet hopeful way, which is based on a true human being, and it caused me to stop and become blocked at that juncture....I was subconsciously deciding whether I wanted, or not, to put those things in the book, as to why it had to be there, and if it would help or hinder the plot. But I had not actually looked openly into myself about these plot complications, so instead I became 'blocked.'

As I came to meditate on some of these things, I became aware of my dilemma. Once I could speak to it directly and openly, I began to work out the plot, wrote some notes, which I believe were effective, and right after that I began to write furiously again. So I was 'un-blocked.'

Writers at times need to take a look at themselves as to why they are blocked, allow every thought in their subconscious after having discovered them, (do not hold back), and look soberly at each one, see what it may be that is bothering the novel's progression. It's a wonderful progression once you find this. And, it has become for me, a very useful tool.

I will be looking back at this whole 'block' scenario, for my next area of frustration in this or any other section or plot complication, or another novel, and I believe this tool has given me the impetus to know that I can achieve my goal: the completion of my novel. Now. How many novelists do you know that will tell you honestly how they go about writing a novel?

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