A List of 11 Things: My response to yesterday's writer's block

graphic - Writer's Block Got Ya Down?Since Wednesdays at noon I regularly meet with a group of writers to work on my novel, the luxury of saying "I'm not in the mood to write" is not an option I've chosen to give myself. It's been my goal, instead, to be fiercely protective of these two hours. Barring Thanksgiving week, I've met this goal.

But what happens if Writer's Block shows up during your designated writing time? Yesterday I got to find out.

Here's what I did during my 2 hour writing session when writer's block showed up:

  1. Edited my opening scene,
  2. Fantasized about how much fun it would be, On This Particular Wednesday, to just curl up in bed and read my novel to find out what's going to happen, instead of taking the time and All That Effort to write it,
  3. Realized that wasn't really productive use of my time,
  4. Scrolled through my scene list until I found one I was nominally interested in, and fleshed out my notes about what happens there,
  5. Wrote a first draft of part of that scene,
  6. Decided that a minor character is going to be very loosely crafted around the personality of someone I know. Enjoyed seeing this fabricated person through the lens of my memory,
  7. Drafted a short scene around a minor thing that once actually happened, which involved that real person. In fact, it was the memory of That Tiny Little Thing That Really Happened that made me realize I wanted to use this person as the inspiration for my character.
  8. Asked some questions about my main character I still haven't figured out,
  9. Spent several minutes contemplating whether or not I'm handling point of view the right way - shhhh. I'm still not sure I am.
  10. Got curious about character names again and went online to see what I could quickly find about the name of one very minor (but important) character whose name happens to also be the name of a European city. (And no, lovely as the name is, her name isn't "Paris." Maybe I should have said she shares a name with a Scandinavian city. That'd be true, too.)
  11. Deleted an entire scene since it was just hanging around while I decided between two directions I want one major plot line to go in. Done. I now know, and so notes for that whole scene are no longer necessary.

In the end, I had to admit it was a productive writing day. Not the kind of productive writing day I'd come to love and welcome, since there was so much internal struggle to contend with, but yes, it was productive nonetheless. Since all these things have to be done, too.

Moral of the story: writing a novel is hard work. In case you ever wondered. Just sayin...