Getting Over the Writing Hump

There are boundless writing tips being told and shared but only one writing advice is so prevalent that it can be considered its own icon. KEEP WRITING.

However, most if not all writers go through a period of the image above, where it’s not so much we’re unable a to write a thing. It’s just that what we wrote felt hollow, didn’t resonate and or was telling instead of showing, that in the end we deleted it all and have to start at the beginning all over again.

That was me yesterday. It was the start of the school year for my eldest son and wow, I’ve never had such a hectic first day of school. However, out of that chaos came a most blessed opportunity. Since there are no pre-kindergarten classes in my county’s public school system, the only option left is to either enroll my toddler to a private school/church run pre-K program or a sitter/home daycare. Since the latter is the cheapest of the two, home daycare he goes. Of course that also means, having to travel in two different directions and I don’t drive. Which then leads to missing my bus and the next one which comes an hour later, will have me arriving at work at 1pm. Might as well take the day off and stay home right?

I finally have the house to myself. Just me. I get all comfy on the couch with a pillow and blanket, my feet resting on the armrest and my Chromebook in my lap with the TV turned on (prefer music but I didn’t use Pandora for some reason) because I find silence deafening.  Then I spent a few hours staring at  the screen willing myself to type the perfect scene only to delete what I previously wrote again and again and again.

Now, why would I do that when I’ve already outlined the story (if you haven’t you should and don’t forget to update it) and know what’s supposed to happen? I think the reason why, which I’ve had come to slowly realize, is that sometimes I was getting myself stuck in this idea of writing work like an established author and forgot about how I wanted to write the scene. Who cares if the writing is crap, just as long as it has heart. You’re going to edit it later anyways.

It is perfectly okay to write garbage as long as you edit brilliantly – C.J. Cherryh

To solve this little writing hump I did three things:
1) Revisited Elizabeth Sims You’ve Got A Book In You. In Chapter 19: How To Write A Chapter, Elizabeth explains how a chapter is the writing of one scene or a bunch of scenes put together and gives a simple tool to use to build your scenes.

A person in your book:
1) sees something
2) evaluates it
3) reacts to it

2) Consulted Angela Ackerman & Becca Publisi’s The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression to better portray how a character(s) should act within a scene. By acknowledging you character(s) root  emotion, you can use the guide to inspire ways to show the telltale physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses and acute/long-term and suppressed signs of said emotion.

3) Picked up my pen and wrote in my notebook. Personally, I find a pen/pencil and notebook to be a very uninhibited tool. In a way, it’s the same as pouring your innermost thoughts in a journal or diary. So what’s written down is something raw and pure. Don’t just lose that oomph when you edit later.

I’ve found that my most productive writing time is in the mornings and while I’m riding public transportation. On the mornings where it’s less hectic, you’ll find me on the couch doing a writing session for several minutes before I head out the door to work.

How do you get over your writing humps. Are there any writing book guides, advice or tips written by authors that you’ve used and worked for you, that you like to share?

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