Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Writer's Parry: Dealing With Writer's Block

By Janice Hardy

I don't get writer's block. (Well, I get it, I just don't get it).*

I've been incredibly lucky in my writing life, and I've never found myself unable to put words on a page. But I have found myself not wanting to write, or not feeling like writing plenty of times. During these times, I feel that my muse is dodging me, ducking my attempts to storytell like a gold-medal fencer. And let me tell you, she's one nimble little minx.

When this happens, I don't sweat it. I know that my mood will swing back and the words will come, and I think not getting wigged out about it actually helps prevent a full-on block. Sometimes, the mind just needs to refuel.

Taking a few days off to remind myself why I love to write in the first place helps a lot. I dive into my ever-present stack to to-be-read books and get lost in worlds and words other than my own. If I feel really dodged, I re-read Harlan Ellison. That always lights a fire under my muse and sends her right back to the keyboard.

Pretty much any great story can get the creative juices flowing again. Favorite movies, TV shows, anything written by Aaron Sorkin or Joss Wheadon. I mean, seriously, how can a writer watch a West Wing, Firefly or Buffy rerun and not get jazzed about writing?

Leo McGarity: "He rode his bicycle into a tree, C.J., what do you want me -- the President, while riding his bicycle, came to a sudden arboreal stop." (The West Wing, Pilot)

You can't tell me that doesn't make you want to grab a pen and try to use arboreal as awesomely as that.

*This post was inspired not by my novel, but by not knowing what to post about today.


  1. Oh, good. I'm not the only one who characterizes my muse. Mine has temporarily left me.

    (I realize that you probably don't know who this is. I'm the one who made the oxymoron comment when you were speaking to the seventh grade.)

  2. Hi there! Welcome to the blog. Muses are very temperamental. Sometimes, you just have to tell them to shut up, sit down and get to work. ;)