Jeff Seymour - Author of Fantasy, Literary Fiction, & c.: Writing Wednesday: Writer's Block

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Writing Wednesday: Writer's Block

Lately, I've been suffering from a bit of writer's block. I've been lucky enough through my writing career not to have this problem often, but it does raise its ugly head from time to time, usually when I'm stressed out about other things in my life and just can't break away mentally and focus on the story at hand.

Writer's block has about as many cures as hiccups do, and in general I've found they're about as effective. Every writer has to find his or her own way of soldiering through and getting something done in spite of it. That said, I'll share a few of the tricks up my sleeve today.

1.) Go for a walk. Most useful for temporary writer's block, of the "I really have no idea where this chapter should go next" variety. Something about the change of scenery helps get things clicking in my head and I usually come back with a solution of some kind.

2.) Listen to music. Not while writing (I gave that up long ago. I would write these great scenes to exciting music only to find that once the music was removed they weren't nearly as good), but while taking a break. A good song can calm the nerves and remind me of all the places I've been in my life that were better, worse, or just different than where I am now. Sometimes that's all I need.

3.) Read. Usually other people's work, the kind I aspire to create. It helps me figure out which direction those tracks in the sand I thought I was following were headed. I also read my own work from time to time, when I'm suffering from crises of confidence. I usually discover at least one chapter, one scene, one paragraph, that makes me think "Okay, I do have some talent. I just need to figure out how to do more of this."

In other news, as a birthday present to my father I converted the Soulwoven manuscript to MOBI last night, and I'll be uploading it onto my parents' Kindle this weekend so they can read it. I test drove it on the Kindle reading app on my girlfriend's iPad, and I have to say I was pretty excited about how professional it looked after only an hour of playing with formatting (thanks Matt Koerber, for helping me out with how to do that earlier this summer). If push comes to shove and I decide to self-publish, I'm reasonably certain that I'll be able to get it looking pretty snappy.

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