I’ve been working on a novel for a while now. I’m getting very close to the end of the first draft, but the closer I get to the end, the harder it gets. Something’s not gelling. I know the ending — have always known it — but I can’t quite figure out how to get there. At least, not to my satisfaction…
I’ve been scribbling notes for weeks now, going in circles, trying to figure out how things should play out. Today I decided I was going to try to write through it.
I read a quote recently (which I’ve been trying to find again) that went something along the lines of: It’s better to write something (anything) than nothing, because even if you scrap it you’re no worse off than you were before. (That’s so badly expressed — I really wish I could find the original!)
Anyway, while looking for this quote, I came across the following quotes about so-called writer’s block. Each resonates with me in a different way.
You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block. — John Rogers
I think writer’s block is simply the dread that you are going to write something horrible. But as a writer, I believe that if you sit down at the keys long enough, sooner or later something will come out. — Roy Blount, Jr.
The music lets me see the story but the story doesn’t let me write the words. — Elizabeth J. Kolodziej
Over analysis leads to paralysis. — Rebecca Jane
What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’ — Maya Angelou
Suggestions? Put it aside for a few days, or longer, do other things, try not to think about it. Then sit down and read it (printouts are best I find, but that’s just me) as if you’ve never seen it before. Start at the beginning. Scribble on the manuscript as you go if you see anything you want to change. And often, when you get to the end you’ll be both enthusiastic about it and know what the next few words are. And you do it all one word at a time. — Neil Gaiman
Writer’s block is a condition that affects amateurs and people who aren’t serious about writing. So is the opposite, namely inspiration, which amateurs are also very fond of. Putting it another way: a professional writer is someone who writes just as well when they’re not inspired as when they are. — Philip Pullman
I don’t really subscribe to the idea of writer’s block — but I can certainly relate to the fear, the over-thinking, the paralysis… And so now I try to write words, any words, in the hope something will click.
In the meantime, I’ll continue searching for that original quote! (Unless anyone can point me in its direction?)