On Writing

 

Why I don't believe in writer's block.

First of all: if you believe in something evil, you give it power and it will come to get you, usually at night...a dark and stormy night when the TV goes out and you have no chocolate in the house.

Second: the more you write, the more ideas you'll get for other stories. Trust me on this. It's completing the plots and getting to the finished draft of a story that's the challenge, not coming up with an idea of what to write. I have two file cabinets full of ideas in various stages of development from a cool title to a half-finished novel. I bemoan the fact that even if I live three lifetimes, I wouldn't have time to make them all into publishable manuscripts. (Of course, most of the ideas probably aren't worth my time, but some are and those I separate into files, adding details and notes until they rise to the top of the queue and get written.)

On rare days when I want to write, but have no idea what to work on, I turn to my file folder labeled "Bits & Pieces." This is where I stash all those à la carte scenes, snatches of dialogue or description, and half-baked what-ifs for story ideas that are too good to ignore but haven't fit into the more complete story ideas yet. I just start reading through all these isolated notes and sooner than later one or two things happen: I'll find one that ignites into a whole story or a few that jump out as missing puzzle pieces to a story I've already started. The evil villain, Writer's Block, once more gets turned back at the castle gates, and I tuck away the leftover bits and pieces until the next little bump in the road.

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