Today’s AuthorsTalk is with the utterly amazing Heather Young-Nichols! If you didn’t catch our review of her latest book Up for Grabs be sure to head over and do that now!
Heather is going to tell us a little about her thoughts on Writer’s Block and how to fight it!
What’s all this about writer’s block?
I’ve heard this concept bandied about. “I haven’t written anything. I’ve got writer’s block.”
What is this unseen thing that stops writers in their tracks? The kryptonite to their Superman-like power to put words on the page at breakneck speeds? Something that completely blocks all words from flowing in their brain?
I don’t have the answer because I’ve never experienced it. I have never had a time where I literally just stared at a blank page and couldn’t put a sentence together. I’m not claiming that it doesn’t exist at all but have often wondered if it isn’t a case of the writer getting in their own way. Too much pressure to produce making it impossible to actually produce. The need for every word you write to be gold making them stop all together. A self-fulfilling prophecy maybe? I don’t know.
Sure, I have times that I “don’t feel” like writing and if at all possible I just don’t write because everybody needs a break now and then. If I just need to get those creative juices flowing, I’ll grab a book or even re-read whatever I’ve already written in that story to get me back into it.
But sometimes not writing is just not possible. There are word count goals we place on ourselves and deadlines others give us. If that’s the case we can’t just sit back and wait for the muse to find us. We have to lasso that muse ourselves or continue on without it.
What to do then when you don’t “feel like” writing or “nothing’s coming to you”, or at least what do I do?
I sit my ass in the seat and write.
A while back I read a “how to” of writing by a guy whose name I don’t remember. It was just something he posted on Facebook. But the answer to every single question or problem in regards to writing was “Sit your ass in the seat and write.” I took that shit to heart because really how else is anything going to get done?
Yeah, the words aren’t always going to be the best you’ve got but honestly, they usually aren’t right off the bat. That’s why we have the editing process. Just put it down there even if it reads like “See Jane Run”. That’s fine. Because when you edit you can have Jane running like Usain Bolt, and hopping over hurdles, attacking a bear, all while wearing heels and not a hair out of place. It doesn’t have to be great as soon as you write it.
So instead of worrying about writer’s block, I sit my ass in the chair and write.
One of the most fun things I’ve done was NaNoWriMo last year and I’m doing it again this year. I sat down and wrote 64,000 words in 15 days. I don’t even know how I did it other than I decided to do it and it got done. Though I will admit to being scared to go back and read it because of how horrible it was going to be. But I did that a few weeks ago and yeah, it needed edits, they always need edits, but it was pretty good. I surprised myself. I have to chalk this up to not worrying about whether it was good or not, not getting in my own way and letting the story flow from my fingertips.
Maybe someone will want to publish that story, maybe they won’t. And maybe I’ll just do it myself because I love that damn story so much. Regardless of what happens to it, I didn’t let the idea of something that could hinder my writing get in my way of making it happen.
Heather Young-Nichols is the author of Up for Grabs, a new adult contemporary romance from Swoon Romance about a girl who is desperate to stay in college and goes to some extreme measures to ensure it happens.
She loves books and coffee and lives in Michigan where, in the dead of Winter, she tries to remember that she actually loves the snow but would rather lounge on a beach somewhere warm.
She chose the perfect college and found the perfect guy.
She has a plan to keep them both … but it won’t be perfect.