Blog Hopping, The Dreaded Writers Block

Here’s this week’s prompt, from #OpenBook.

How do you move past writer’s block?

That’s another good question, writer’s block is something that affects all authors at one time or another.

I guess that I’m fortunate; I’ve never suffered from it.


Now I don’t want to appear complacent or clever. I know people who have suffered, I realise that I’ve just been lucky.

It might have something to do with the way I work. I tend to have several stories on the go at any one time. It sometimes feels like the characters from each separate one are in a perpetual struggle for my attention; so that I write their story first. I will write about them furiously for a while, trying to keep up with the film that’s playing in my head. Then, for whatever reason, the characters will lose interest or get displaced by another set. Their tale pushes to the front. So I swap over and write that. And so on.

It keeps me busy trying to work it out. Just to complicate things, I write in three different genres Sci-fi, Steampunk and Cosy Crime). if I didn’t have help from somewhere, I’m not sure how I would keep it all separate. But it does mean that I have a fall-back, if something’s not working, for whatever reason, I can try something else.

Another thing that this means is that there never seems to be a time when I don’t have seven or eight stories in various stages of completion. At the moment, I have SIX sequels and TWO new ideas all vying for my attention. The characters take it in turns to attract my attention and try to tell me that their story is the one I should be telling. No wonder I don’t suffer from writer’s block with all that going on!

If I really don’t feel like writing fiction, there’s always my other projects, the blog and my website, my non-fiction work (recipes) and reviews to write. Or perhaps a short story will suggest itself. Very often, I find that asking my characters to go away for a while can result in renewed energy when they come back.

Connected to this, as I write in a chronological style (I don’t write scenes out of order), I tend not to get hung up over where the story is going or whether I can fashion a satisfactory narrative. Even though I never know what will happen next; somehow, it always seems to work out.

In fact, my problem is very often the opposite to writer’s block. I have so much buzzing around in my head that it’s difficult to decide what not to write.

While that might not seem to be as bad as having nothing to write about, it has its own drawbacks.

What about you? Please leave me a comment below and tell me how (or if) writer’s block affects you. Then take a look at all the other blogs in the hop.

I’ll be back tomorrow, with a special announcement, see you then.

10 Responses

  1. Stevie Turner

    I can only concentrate on one story at a time. I’m sure that if I tried to juggle several novels at once, I’d get all the characters mixed up!

    • Richard Dee

      I wish it was that simple, sadly I’m stuck with the cacophony 🙁

  2. Lela Markham

    I’m with you, Richard. I have several stories going at one time and writer’s block is a momentary thing. I stare at my computer screen waiting for what Shane (for example) plans to do next and nothing comes. That lasts about 15 minutes and I switch to my secondary or tertiary project. I come back a week later when Shane has been bugging me for a day or so about what he wants to do next and — yup, I’ve never had actual writer’s block. Every now and then, I really can’t think of anything to write and I go do something else for an hour or a day and come back refreshed and having found something out in the real world to write about. Very occasionally, I write nonsense until a storyline develops – often that’s a brand new idea that will later (or even right now) wish to be expanded. I literally have a dozen story ideas in various stages and that’s fine. A full pantry means you never go hungry.

    • Richard Dee

      I consider myself lucky to be able to switch projects, and because the characters seem to drive it so well, I rarely find myself with a quiet moment.

  3. Roberta Eaton

    An interesting read, Richard. I also usually have more than one writing effort on the go at the time and I also find I struggle more for time than for ideas. Long may it last.

    • Richard Dee

      Thanks, considering I never expected to write one book, having so many in progress is a bit of a shock!!

  4. P.J. MacLayne

    I can only work on one story at a time. Once, I had to stop in the middle of a book and work on a different one, but I completed the second and went back to the first. I don’t think my brain will allow to to hop from project to project! But I’m like that with other creative (non-writing) projects as well. One at a time.

    • Richard Dee

      I can’t imagine life without the clamour of competing stories.

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