Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Monday 12 March 2012

Writer's Block

Excuses... excuses...
Perhaps I’m just lucky, I don’t know, but I do know that I’ve never suffered from writer’s block.
Lots of things can slow me down when I’m writing. I like to build up a decent amount of momentum, writing all day, every day until a project is finished. When I write in discrete chunks, when time elapses between chapters, I have to get my head back in the game; I have to read back through everything I’ve written to that point, find all my threads, and work my way back to the voice. You can imagine the sort of time and energy that can take if I’m two-thirds of the way into a hundred thousand word novel, and it can be frustrating, but that doesn’t make it writer’s block.
I’m not afraid of a white piece of paper, or, in our times, a blank screen. Every blank screen offers a new opportunity to be creative. There are days when that blank screen appears on the computer and I look at it, and I switch screens and read e-mails and check Twitter, and, some days, I never find my way back to the word processor, but that doesn’t make it writer’s block. 
I have been known to change my mind about a story, sometimes more than once, and I go back through a text scraping out characters and story-lines that I no longer need, and seeding in new material. This can take days, and sometimes, after the changes have been made, I haven’t added to the word count, but that doesn’t constitute writer’s block, either.
I don’t think writer’s block is for me.
I think that writer’s block is for professionals of world renown who need not produce more than a book every couple of years or so to make a living, and that’s all right with me. And, I think that writer’s block is for amateurs and wannabes, who don’t rely on their writing to earn a living. I’m OK with that, too, but, if they’re ever going to be successful, if they’re ever going to take the bull by the horns and quit the day job, they’d better call the procrastinating and the displacement activity something else, because if they call it writer’s block, they’ll never cure themselves of it, and that way failure lies.

1 comment:

  1. I think that if you're trying to write something really original, writer's block is inevitable from time to time - and that's whether you enjoy world renown or are just an innovative midlister. But definitely there's no reason it should ever happen to genre writers knocking out a couple of novels a year.