Hello, Writer’s Block, I Will Defeat You

Liz meet Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block meet Liz—please don’t kill her. I used to let writer’s block TERRORIZE me. I’d lie around, feeling all sad and weepy, listening to equally sad and weepy songs, hoping that inspiration would just strike. Like lighting, but without the sting. But lighting doesn’t really strike that often (at least, not in the same place), so it’s not fair to put that much chance into something that you should be able to control, right? Well, I used to think that that was the case…but today, I’m not so sure. Stephen King said some really wise words in On Writing (which I highly recommend reading) and I’m not kidding when I say those words literally changed my life. He essentially said that if you’ve got writer’s block, then that means that something isn’t working. Writer’s block is basically your subconscious telling you that you need to stop and look back, then make changes, before you keep moving forward. Since that advice, I’ve been able to write so much faster and with much less pressure. But this way of thinking isn’t working for me right now, because I don’t even know where to begin. The backspace is […]

Want to Write? Read Bird by Bird

One of my absolute favorite professors first mentioned this book, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, to a class I was in back in my third semester of college. So, I did what I always do: used to my trust library card to put a hold on it and eventually checked it out and… IT TERRIFIED ME. Very much. Like, my chest was constricting and saw about fifty shades of my future, all of which were dark, dull colors that in no uncertain terms meant that I would probably spend the rest of my life scooping dead deer off the side of road. The book draws you in with anecdotes and hilarity, but it’s also serious at times. Like when Anne Lamott tells her class that the road to getting published is going to be hard. So, what terrified me? That right there. If Anne Lamott was to ever read this blog, I’d probably die, because she probably now thinks that she terrifies me or that I hate her. But I don’t. I really, really, really don’t. In fact, I’m at a hero-worship stage right now when it comes to her. After deciding to give it another go, I realized that I […]

Starting Out With No Place To Go

Sometimes when you write…it’s a little like that famous scene from The Walking Dead’s first episode. You know, where Rick Grimes sees the walker who is missing the bottom half of her body? Well, she’s reaching for him, making the typical walker sound, and we’re given a sense of desperation, hunger, despair, basically everything negative and nothing even remotely pleasant. Yeah, you probably don’t just see it, you know it. We all do at sometime in our lives for different reasons. But the thing is, when you’re writing, you’re not Rick Grimes—you’re not operating on a Ricktatorship. Nope, you’re that walker who’s barely cleaning to life, humanity and hope. Eventually you might get your Ricktatorship on, but it takes time for you to realize how to kill the walker. How to keep moving forward. So what’s a fix for this horrible step for writing? I don’t know. I’m not sure that I ever will. But I’ve been tossing around an idea and if I ever become famous enough to write a book on writing, then maybe this’ll make the cut. Start with your character, because that’s who drives the story (most of the time), right? But don’t write in first person, write […]