I know the story. I’ve got the time.
Yet sometimes the words simply won’t come.
So I sit at the kitchen table nervously looking from the clock to the blank page on my laptop screen, and all I can think about is my looming deadline. The few words that do come out of me read more like a history-of-the-most-boring-topic-ever textbook than a romantic tale.
Advice from one of my favorite books on the craft of writing, Immediate Fiction by Jerry Cleaver, come to mind:
The less you care, the better you write.
He’s absolutely right, but like most good advice it’s easier said than done.
So I sit a while longer, willing myself to chill out.
Finally, I get up, grab a legal pad and curl up on the living room sofa. (I’ve been in our living room maybe three times and one of them was to show the delivery guy where to put the furniture, so it’s a huge change of scenery for me.) Soon I’m scribbling down a few of my characters thoughts which leads to an outpouring of scenes my pen can barely keep up with.
I’m not sure how, but writing in longhand gives my stalled brain the jumpstart it needs to shift into high gear.
Soooo, how do you get started again when you’re stalled?