Ask a Storyteller: Writer’s Block Part 1

Today, the 8 Great Storytellers address questions about Writer’s Block:block-576508_640

A: Are there times when you get writer’s block?

Yes. –James Flaherty

I’ve experienced writer’s block–not often though. –Mary Jo Hazard

Not for many years. A blank page is like a fog bank where characters and their secrets are hiding; I just need to blow away the mist. –Jeff Guenther

B: What is the best way to get past writer’s block?

Groups have really helped me. Listening to others in a writing group motivates me to get back into action. Also, if I’m blocked a bit, that’s when I step up my reading. I read or reread books similar to the one I’m writing. A class, talk on writing, or conference always motivates me, too. –Mary Jo Hazard

Usually I can write my way through. It only takes one or two good lines to give me the needed momentum. Those lines may eventually get the axe, but they served their purpose. –Jeff Guenther

Since I generally write historical fiction, I might take the opportunity to focus on the research aspects of the project.  I also try to have several writing projects going at the same time.  If I am having creative difficulties with one, I can focus on another. I also find setting weekly goals for a specific number of words/pages etc. useful.  This is probably a carryover from my Corporate days. –James Flaherty

If I’m stuck in the middle of a scene or a chapter, I get in my car and drive around. That often loosens the strings that are holding me back. Or I switch to another piece of writing. Taking the work in progress to a workshop often helps. Not only what people say (encouraging or discouraging) but the very quality of the silence while I’m reading tells me if I have everyone’s attention. –Jean Shriver

Isaac Asimov never got writer’s block. He had dozens of projects going at the same time and could always find one to work on. I’m no Asimov, but as of July, 2014, I had 36 open projects. –Jeff Guenther

C: Do you have a set schedule or do you just write when inspired?

I generally write or do research for a couple of hours most mornings.  If I am writing I prefer to work at a coffee shop using my laptop, or a composition book. –James Flaherty

I write when I find time, usually late in the evening. –Jeff Guenther

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Next time, Part 2 will address: How do you get in the mood to write? 

Image: CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay

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