Writer’s block…

The inspiration over at Colleen’s this week for Writer’s Quote Wednesday was writer’s block. I dutifully searched out a quote…

december dawn 001 sue vincent (24)
It struck me, with quite appropriate force, that many quotes about writer’s block seem to treat the whole affair as a battle… that the poor, beleaguered scribbler must gird themselves with the tip of their fountain pen, attacking their Muse with every ounce of aggression, hoping that the resulting wounds will bleed ink onto the page. Over and over the battle cry was sounded… is that, I wondered, really the best way?

There are always the ‘bad’ days, when the words don’t jump readily to play on the tip of your pen, when the keyboard sulks silently and the screen mocks you with a blank stare. Having said that, there are days when the prospect of going out to work doesn’t seem attractive or feasible and when pretty much everything you attempts goes wrong. I’m not sure writer’s block is all that much different…

I got to thinking; always a dangerous move, usually resulting in words. Which is why I can’t really say I am troubled by writer’s block. When do I have one of those days, what do I do? Take the dog for a long walk in the fields, usually… or do some serious housework. Wasn’t it Agatha Christie who said that the best time for planning a book was while doing the dishes? Or I might have a bath. Read for a while. Anything to break the spell and change the focus of attention. Then, when you sit back down with a coffee, thoughts have had time to meander round the mind without the pressure of the stark page looking at you accusingly.

Most of the time, though, I just sit and write. I might pull up a picture at random on the PC… there are enough there to inspire a lifetime. Every picture tells the story of a moment, or holds a memory, or sparks an association… Sometimes I’ll open a book… any book… at random and take the first phrase I see as a point of thought. Either way, I will then just start writing and see what happens.

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I might end up with a decent piece… I might end up with half a dozen random thoughts I can file away for later inspiration. Or it might be just a stream of consciousness piece that can either stand or itself become inspiration.

A lot depends on what you are writing, of course. A book with a plot is a different beast from a short article. Either way, the trick is to write… you can’t edit words that don’t exist. Most of the time, I find it best to simply let the words come as they will. Let the fingers go with the flow. I learn things that way, things I didn’t know I knew. That, I think, is when the Muse is really at work.

I remember reading somewhere… goodness knows where or when… that when you have to force an idea to fit, it is because you are going against the divine. I can’t even remember if this was about writing… possibly not, but I think it fits anyway. Maybe writer’s block is the same… what is forced has no heart, what comes from the heart has its own voice. And the heart is never silent…

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About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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32 Responses to Writer’s block…

  1. This made me laugh, because it’s true. Besides assassins we are also wonderful warlords for commanding the forces of the words, and ninjas for when we need to sneak up on them, and scientists to decipher, tear apart, rearrange, and create worlds in our imaginations.

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  2. I use word dumps for most of my writing and then revisit. I have usually have already compiled the story in my head whilst walking, swimming or listening to music. Once I sit down at the computer I rattle it off and then refine. I tend to have two major projects on the go at a time – one fiction and one non-fiction and work on one if feeling out of sorts with the other. The blog is a great way to get a short piece completed and posted and it gives you a feeling of instant gratification.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jenanita01 says:

    Beautiful post, Sue, full of what it is really like to be a writer…I love it and can see you do to…

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  4. Mary Smith says:

    Good post. Going for a long walk usually works for me. While focussing on what I’m seeing around me – or puffing breathlessly if I’m going up a hill – lets the subconscious work away underneath.

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  5. Ali Isaac says:

    So true. I used to suffer more with writers block in the early days of writing. Taking Indi out for a walk ALWAYS solved it! I dont seem to have that problem anymore, but some times I sit down to write and my words feel ’empty’ or ‘flat’. Ive learned to just keep going and after a while, something changes, and it comes alive. I think that must be my muse kicking in. Its a fabulous feeling! Which is very like your description of writing from the heart.

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  6. That forced words have no heart…brilliant. Love this post, Sue. ❤️

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  7. Great post! Loved it!

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  8. I loved this post Sue; The pictures were beautiful and you have a way of articulating things that paints so vivid a picture!

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  9. Easy, unhurried wonderful writing that that hums itself along, great blog post Sue, loving the images too, blending well together. 🙂

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  10. * that just hums itself … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You know, there are times when you know something, but you forget it. And sometimes you need to be reminded. And sometimes you need to be reminded more than once.

    Thanks, Sue

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  12. Eliza Waters says:

    I agree that our writing flows when we are in tune with the divine within ourselves. A certain amount of discipline is good, of course, but being chained to our keyboards is not going to do it. Moving about, doing other things, walking, really is a way to polish the screen and clear the path for creativity to flow.

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  13. I don’t get writer’s block, but I get tired. Of writing. Of everything. Including, but not only, writing. And you are right. I can always write, but sometimes, I write much better than others.

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  14. Pingback: Writer’s Quote Wednesday Weekly Wrap-Up from 9/3/15 | Silver Threading

  15. Reblogged this on Lance Greenfield and commented:
    Some great quotes here. I like the first one, “Discipline allows magic…”

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  16. Loved the Wordsworth quote and the sentiment. Just fill the paper with the breathings of your heart. I don’t often suffer from writer’s block, either. My mother always said that I seemed to have a lot to say for myself. LOL.

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