I readily admit that, when it comes to writing my as-yet-unpublished historical novels, I am a paragon of . . . indiscipline.
A successful novelist friend of mine, with three titles in print, puts me to shame when it comes to bringing organization and a high degree of self-discipline to her art. In addition to co-parenting great young adults and holding down a high-powered job, she rises at four o’clock in the morning to get in a couple hours of writing before leaving home.
My regimen bears no resemblance to this. I keyboard at odd intervals and for varying amounts of time. I don’t aim to compose a set number of words daily, either. The result? Thus far I have completed two historical novels, and have made a good start on a third. Will any of them see the light of day? I hope so.
From what I have seen authors of all stripes grouse about “writer’s block.” This affliction is when they’re abandoned by their muse, imagination or whatever floats their boat. As a result the flow of words dries up. Writer’s block can hobble an author for an indeterminate time, leaving her/him feeling frustration, even despair. It seems the only way to get through it is to keep on writing, until the mental clouds disperse.
Have I ever experienced writer’s block? I guess so, although I have no clear recollection of it in the decade plus I’ve been grinding away. Could it be that my habit of writing in spurts insulates me from the worst effects of the malady?
There’s something else that may be of help: it is my very own writer’s block.
Nice, isn’t it? Small enough to be transported in a pocket (I do an appreciable amount of work in coffee shops), and the bright color makes it easy to find in my cluttered office.
In the final analysis I am of the opinion that every wannabe author ought to possess a writer’s block – even its only use is comedic effect!