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Why can't I write?

Okay, the coffee is perfect, the lighting perfect, the location perfect, the computer perfect, the bird noises outside my window and angle of sunlight all perfect. Perfect. Perfect.


So why can't I write?


I don't know why the writing Gods occasionally tell me not to write, but I've found that it can be useful to to listen to the 'stop' noise as much as it's important to have routes around it. So here it is, reasons I stop writing.



1) I'm not sure it matters. In these cases I will frequently write a summary sentence that states what I think should go there. and skip on by and keep writing. If I can't keep writing on the other side of the scene then something else might be going on - like I've written myself into a hole.


2) My brain is tired. Sometimes I'm fine... really. but my brain is tired. And if I get up and move really good things happen. walking around the block has been a good tool to get unstuck and address the tired brain situation. when I'm done with my walk if I'm still stuck, I stop.


3) I don't like what I'm about to write. While that might be an issue of bravery, it might also just be your brain telling you that you are working on the wrong thing. might be time for some more of that writing work like filling in more back story or trying a setting worksheet.


4) I don't know what comes next. This one used to be the WORST moments I thought that I was lost,but I don't worry about that any more. We're writers we will write more. Go do that creative thing you do and get more ideas. Poll a few friends about what is the worst thing you could do to your protagonist and give them options. Try to make them worse each time.


5) I don't know my character well enough. This one is hard to cop to, but sometimes I haven't done the work because I'm too excited about the concept. Great for the fuel to write, but not great for the engine to write well. Fortunately there are lots of tools and prompts out there to help you fill in the blanks you didn't even know you had.


Do you have ways you know it's time to stop for a moment?



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