I know what writer’s block is in theory but it’s not something I have really struggled with. Honestly, I’m full of bullshit 90% of the time. I can always write something down on a page. Perhaps this is where we break it down to a more specific discussion:
Good Writing vs Word Vomit
Highly subjective and mostly planned. The decision of whether or not what you have written is passable. It’s more of a “feel good” writing in that – it moves your story forward, it’s hitting the points you want to hit, or it’s a good base to work with. Beta read, edit, whatever you want to do with it later, what you wrote is what you are happy with to some extent.
My flash fictions. No seriously. I just smash my face into the keyboard majority of the time I write those things and hope something semi-coherent comes out. Word vomit is just typing. Set a timer and type because you have to. Type non-stop until that timer goes off. If you don’t find a rhythm then take a break and try again after say 15 minutes. Otherwise, keep writing. You might end up with a short story about Thor breaking a juke box after being offended by a Nickelback song.
So how does good writing and word vomit relate to writers block? Well, that’s simple.
If you have writer’s block you are too afraid to word vomit because you have set your expectations too high. You feel that everything you write is going to be, or should be, “good writing.”
Let go. Just type.
It might not make it past the first draft. The story may sit unfinished forever. I know, I have started stories and then completely abandoned them after getting a better idea the second day. Hell, you should see the outline for my first manuscript from where it started and where I ended up. Simply because there were days I didn’t know what to write, felt completely stuck for one reason or another, and I just wrote for the sake of possible progress. The thing is, some of that word vomit, is in the manuscript I am sending out to agents. I was most flattered when one of my beta readers came to me and highlighted a scene they had read. They liked how real it made a character feel and how sad the reader felt for them. That scene was a “you are tired and you need to make word count before the day is over” moment. I just typed. I had no muse, no plan, and let me tell you, I really wanted to go to bed. But, after blindly typing for a half hour I came up with “something” to put on a page. That something ended up working. Who would have thought?
The bottom line is don’t be afraid to write and let it be crap if it’s crap. But, it might get you over the hurdle on to something else or you might actually surprise yourself and like what you wrote.
Hope this is helpful to some of you out there and please, don’t forget to check out the lovely ladies!