Sunday, October 2, 2011

Writer's Cramp

My husband sent me this picture and said he thought it reminded him of me. No, I don't have whiskers and fur (in fact, I'm allergic to cats) but I do struggle with that blank page and first drafts. The only way I can deal with it and get through it is to start writing—anything, no matter how bad it is—and not edit as I go. 

I've been stuck on a revision of one of my novels now for a couple weeks. I keep overcoming one obstacle just to run into another. Part of the problem is that I wrote this novel without really planning it out or doing much outlining. So I've had to go back and do some plotting after the fact and keep making changes in the plot whenever I find part of it's not working anymore. 

In November I plan to write the first draft of a new novel for NanoWrimo, but I will do some plotting beforehand. I think my first draft will be much easier that way and it will need less revisions and not have to make so many major changes. 

Ways I deal with writer's cramp:

Take a walk
Do laundry or dishes
Go back and revise my outline
Listen to music related to my story
Look at pictures of places or people that resemble those in my book
Do some research on whatever I'm stuck on
Play my guitar

What are some ways you deal with writer's cramp? I'd love it if you'd share your ideas in the comments!


  1. I agree with you on part of this -- write something. Anything! Writing is how I work out stress, while you play your guitar.

    As far as editing Mist:

    Read the whole novel out loud to yoursel (or create a PDF version and have Adobe read it to you) and take notes WITHOUT making any changes. Save all your changes for the end. That way you get a complete picture and don't end up making changes to your changes because you find something else later.


  2. Great idea Lauren. After I edit this version I'm going to try listening to it and taking notes as you suggested to get the whole picture.

  3. Butt in chair, Hands on Keyboard. Only way to get through. I also find that if I get stuck in the middle of a story the problem usually lies a few pages (or chapters, EEK!) back. Something is broken. When I fix it suddenly the ideas are flowing again. Good luck!