Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Writer's Block Bane

On December 18th Mormon Mommy Writers' post, Nikki wrote about having split personalities as a writer--I am sure we all have experienced this interesting little phenomena at one time or another right? Oh yes. It is called . . . writer's block! Tada!!!

Well, I had lots to say about it and left a comment there for her. I thought it would make a very interesting topic to discuss on my blog (thank you Nikki for the idea!).

Her post was about our creative selves conflicting with our logical selves, hence, resulting in writer's block. Gotta love it. Well, for the first time I suffered major writer's block. I was so worried and sad that I couldn't and wondered if I would ever be able to write again. I asked for blessings galore. I prayed tons. I fasted lots. I even attended the temple seeking answers.

Do you know what it really was when it came down to it? The simple fact that my logical side did not agree with my creative side.

It was over the urban fantasy romance I had finished the first week into November for NaNoWriMo. My problem was that I had never written just a plain story without a villain. There has to be a villain to taunt, torment, tease my MCs at all costs! This particular novel has no villain like that. It doesn't. It is a normal romance with internal conflict. Whoa! So new for me, that's for sure.

My logical self argued with me that it could not be done because I have never done it and that it would be so borrring without a villain. My creative self mulled and batted and debated just how I was going to accomplish the never-done-by-Elizabeth feat!

After much thought and prayer, NaNo came around and I decided to take the challenge full force. I have never done this crazy thing of writing 50K words in one month and was even afraid of the task. (My problem is that I always underestimate myself but have learned that I usually excel to my surprise!)

Well, with NaNo, I told myself it can be done and I won't stop to contemplate the difficulties of writing a story without a solid villain. I simply gave myself permission to write the novel with pure internal conflict.

As I mentioned a few paragraphs above, I finished that novel the first week into November and started another book (the one I mentioned in my last post and I am nearly done with it! I am on my last chapter and it ends with a Viking wedding!) Well, ahem, their wedding night actually! ;)

I now know that writer's block is as simple as what Nikki had said. It is logic conflicting with creativity. The angel and devil on each of our shoulders screaming opposing thoughts and sending conflicting messages--our brains don't work that way. It's very hard to serve two masters!

Well, tell me how you deal with your writer's block? Maybe it is not as simple as I had just defined it. What is your opinion and thoughts on it?

Let me know!!


  1. Josi Kilpack once gave an excellent speech about writers block and all the different things it masquerades as. Sometimes it's not as simple as logic vs. creation. Sometimes it's life circumstances, family problems, illnesses & health, and other factors that keep us from our creative pursuits. These are all real things but not things we don't always think of as "writers block", although they block us from writing.

    It was an excellent class and it's made me think a lot about what things get in the way of my writing and how I can find ways around it. You've given me a lot to think about too, Lizzie. Thank you.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. I am probably no help at all when it comes to writers block because I don't feel like I ever get block in that I don't know what to write about-I have more ideas than I know what to do with-but I do become struck with a lazy I don't feel like writing syndrom, that I really have to fight to get out of.

    I really liked your bloodbath piece and so I want to read your Viking book-if you need a sword-swinging advance reader consider me-huh?

  3. Laura, thank you for your thoughts on writer's block. I can most definitely see how those extenuating circumstances would effect the mind, so true. They didn't even cross my mind...:)

    As for David! Like you, I have over ten story ideas waiting for me in my binder and other files to be written, so I don't think I'll have a dull moment unless my brain rebels on me. ;)

    I would love to have you as an advance reader for my Viking book if you don't mind the romance in there! LOL.

    I finished it in the wee hours this morning and just need to go back and adjust a few misaligned chapters before I hit it hard with my edits...

    Here is my email address so we can talk about it if you want! elizabethmueller6(a)gmail(dot)com--thanks!

  4. Very interesting post. I had never thought about writers block quite like that, though I know I have fallen into the trap of thinking, "No, you can't do it like that," and not being able to move forward. A Viking wedding sounds awesome! (My ancestors were Vikings.)

  5. Angie, really? Wow! How interesting! Tell me what you know? I'd LOVE to learn! (You can e-mail me, too if you want!) Thank you for your comment! :)


Welcome to my blog! I love reading your comments, so please don't be shy and comment away. Also, because of the outrageous number of Anonymous Spam comments I've been receiving, I have opted from that availability--I apologize for any inconvenience!