Archive for December, 2015

What is “writer’s block”, and how can I avoid it?

December 30, 2015

writers block

Frankly, I have never had “writer’s block”. What that implies to me is that you are trying to write one particular story, and you have a problem going from point D to point E. You started it, but where to go next? I have never had this problem thanks to three simple solutions.

First, create a strong synopsis. I don’t try to write the story all the way through, just plot out different things that might happen in this “what if” scenario. Where do I want it to end? How do I get there? Most of my synopses are at least 15 pages. Then I start filling out other logical scenes that I need to connect some of the unconnected scenes. While I am creating the synopsis, sometimes certain scenes or bits of dialogue, or necessary character traits that need to be present, occur to me. I write those down and then flesh them out. Gradually, the entire novel develops.

The second is keeping at least three stories going at the same time. Some writers have trouble getting one going. If so, you are probably constraining yourself. Just because you are writing a novel, a play, whatever, does that mean you can’t be thinking of another story? Even if I have half a dozen things going (which I actually do right now), I always look for another idea. Why? Because if I’m bogged down in one, I am frequently getting ideas for one of the others. So what if it takes me three years to finish one novel? I generally finish one major work every six months, simply because I have so many things going on. And what about the times I just don’t have anything at all to be working on that is really new and exciting? I go back to those stories on the back burner and revise, revise, revise.

The third is other ‘writer activities’. I do not have a set amount of hours per day to write, but between writing, researching, editing, reading the work of others, reading books on how to write well, and so on, I usually spend quite a bit of time. Of course, now I spend a lot of time on marketing. If you are not published, you should already be studying good marketing techniques. Quite often, when I am doing one of these activities I will get an idea for one of my WIPs (works in progress), and off I go writing again!

For me, there is no such thing as “writer’s block”. There is only what I happen to be working on today, and perhaps as well tomorrow, and what I will switch to when that is not working for me.

Keep plugging away.

A New Release!

December 7, 2015


I have recently released “The Grindstone”, a novel set in 1950s Western America. It follows the trials and tribulations of a boy adopted by a mixed race family whose challenges in school and life include Fetal Alcohol & Drug Syndrome. Please give it a look!

A freebie day will be upcoming soon.