Scourge of All Writers

I don’t normally get writer’s block, and I realized that it’s because 99% of what I write is seen by me only. So there is no pressure, and I can write happily along without being aware that everything I write may be appallingly bad.

But when I do try to write something that will actually see an audience, writer’s block sometimes sets in. I hear the voices of the critics in my head, and I try to critique my work from every angle as it’s being written, which results in nothing being written. And it’s a waste of effort to try and foresee every issue someone might have with what I’ve written, because 99% of the time, any error I have is one that I had no idea I was making. So in the end, I decide to just write and let myself be corrected (and it’s always a relief to have someone find the errors that I am completely blind to).

There are many other reasons for writer’s block, but “fear of the audience” is my biggest reason. Do you know why you get writer’s block?

5 thoughts on “Scourge of All Writers

  1. Good topic for discussion. 🙂 I rarely get writer’s block these days, but I have two types. One of them happens about 3,000 words into a new novel. At that point, I’ve written the opening (which is usually very vivid in my head) and need to move on to the rest of the story. At that point, I feel a kind of insecurity – am I going the right way with the story? Is the voice exactly right? Usually it helps to remind myself that it’s the first draft, and I just need to listen to the inspiration and think about the flow later.
    The other type is a bit like yours. It’s an editing block, really, that I get when I am on the third draft of something because I’m starting to really get into te details and want it “perfect”, but I’ve actually found a way out of that (thinking of the story in smaller chunks).

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    1. I don’t usually have writer’s block at all on first drafts — probably because of all those times spent doing NaNoWriMo. And I like the idea of thinking of the story in small chunks. That way it doesn’t loom over you all big and scary. 🙂

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      1. I can relate to that. NaNo has helped me with that too. 🙂 Yes, small chunks are helpful. I think what got me on to that kind of thinking was serialising my novel. 🙂

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  2. I had what may have been writer’s block once, partly because I was stuck on a huge plot point on my second novel, and partly. (probably) because of other things going on in my life. I wrote a lot of movie reviews during that period.

    Then one day, the answer to the plot point came to me (somewhere I have a piece of paper with the resolution and the exact date and time that I thought of it).

    Right now I’m a little stuck, but I know why it is. My last story is done, and I’m very pleased with it, but it doesn’t have a title, so I can’t promote it as it deserves. I have a lot of ideas and some scenes for my new story (which already has a title), but I don’t want to start to post it until the last one is done (and I can never really concentrate on a story until I start to send it out into the world — that’s what focuses my attention).

    The funny thing is that, based on what you’ve reported here, you name your stories after the main characters. I usually don’t do that, but I think I’m going to do that this time, because I can’t think of anything else.

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    1. It’s so true that giving yourself a break and moving on to something else really does help your subconscious work on the problem. That’s happened to me a few times before.
      And I name my stories after the characters just for the sake of having a title (mostly) — I doubt that I will stick with those titles if the stories ever see the light of day… but thinking up something more profound takes a lot more work. 🙂

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