Sometimes when I think I have writer’s block, it’s more of a case of self-awareness of who I am.
I know that when I’m in writing mode, I become one with my story. I disappear into the dialogue of the characters who have become part of my family. I travel with them to fictional (and not so fictional) cities and towns. We journey together, in their highs and lows, their conflict and resolution. Sometimes, it’s a place I don’t want to go because once I’m in that mysterious writing mode, there’s no exit strategy until I’ve written, “The End.”
Writing encompasses every aspect of one’s daily life.
For me, I know that when I’m deep into writing a story, I will essentially vanish off the face of the planet. Meals will come and go, people in my house have to fend for themselves. I take the phone off the hook, turn off my email, avoid social networks, close the door, and stay in my jammies all day. If I venture out (probably in my sweats, no makeup, and hair in a ponytail), my story shadows me. My characters follow me like stalkers.
When I’m in writing mode, I write notes wherever I go. One time in church, the pastor said something about a serpent, so I went home and incorporated a line about a serpent into the novel I was then writing.
Ideas pop into my head when I least expect it when I’m in writing mode. I could be at the checkout stand in the grocery store when the clerk says something, and it tweaks a thought in my brain and I have to run out to the car to write it down before I forget.
When I was in Vegas at a high-tech event, and I was writing a high-tech romance novel, I couldn’t scribble notes on my wine-stained cocktail napkin quick enough. These scribbles turned into dialogue in my novel, “Desires and Deceptions.”
When I’m in writing mode, it’s full-steam ahead. I think that’s why sometimes I avoid writing and think of it as, “writer’s block” because I know how my life becomes when I’m in that other dimension, called writing. It’s a place I can’t get out of once I enter, so sometimes I procrastinate getting there because I know once I start the journey, I’m in for the duration, and that it’s not really writer’s block, but stubbornness.
If you were to ask me if I believed in writer’s block, I’d say, “No.” I’d say that a writer has had a moment of self-doubt. A writer has had a temporary cessation of their creative thought process. I’d say a writer has hit a detour and needs to make a left turn instead of a right. I’d say go back and delete the last sentence, paragraph or chapter.
I’d say it’s more important to keep the fingers dancing on the keyboard until the moment of nothingness turns the corner and that once again you trust in who you are, a writer.About the Blogger: Catherine Burr is a bestselling romance novelist, inspirational blogger, publisher, and children’s author. Tweet her @catherineburr.