Lisa Logue Books

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Guest post by Ann Swann- What Writer's Block?

What Writer's Block?

Someone posted a picture of a coffee cup on Facebook that said “Writer’s Block: When the imaginary friends in your head won’t talk to you.”  I started reading the comments other authors had written below the picture, and that gave me the idea for this blog post.

    One person wrote: “I can relate to that.”  Another wrote something like “Been there!”  And still another chimed in with, “That’s the story of my life.”  Being a little flippant, I responded with, “If your old friends won’t talk to you, maybe it’s time to make new friends…” 
    When I wrote it, I was being silly, but later I started to think about it, because no, I really don’t suffer from writer’s block.  I’m not saying I just sit down to write and words flow from my fingertips (hehe, I wish).  What I mean about making new friends is just something I’ve always done: if I’m stuck in one story, I just go and start to work on a different story.  A couple of times I’ve been surprised when the two stories actually turn out to be connected.
    I’ve got several “idea” files on my computer where I will write a note or two, even just an interesting word or phrase.  I’ve also got a couple of files full of “names I like,” and “character traits” and even some favorite “beginning lines.”  In other words, I no longer journal—although I’ve got a file for that, too, I just haven’t kept up with it in the last year or two—nope, instead, I take notes.
    Thanks to Siri, the lovely voice on iPhone, I can even speak the notes when I’m driving, and she will write them on the “notepad” for me.  Then I just type them into one of the aforementioned files when I get home (or simply delete them if they turn out to be junk, which also happens). 
    Of course I also have scraps of paper everywhere.  Who doesn’t?  If I don’t write it down, I forget it.  Not at that age yet?  If you’re lucky, you will be someday.  (I can also write notes directly into my phone if I’m in the middle of a crowd and don’t want everyone to hear me speaking to Siri out loud.)
    In other words, all these “story starters” are my other “imaginary friends.”  By delving into my files, I can easily find another voice just begging to be heard—and that makes the old ones jealous.  Before long, they show up, clamoring at the door, begging to come in and rejoin the conversation.

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