Tag Archive: writer’s block


If you’ve been bored enough to read my progress reports for this year, you’ve probably noticed the real lack of progress that I’ve been making on one of my writing projects: to finish my first draft of my NaNoWriMo novel from 2011.  Not only did I complete less than half of the 50,000 words I was trying to write in November, but now I’m lucky if I manage to add more than 100 new words to the manuscript a day, which is way, way lower than my usual writing output.  The irony? This is the first novel that I’ve actually outlined from beginning to end before writing.  So I know what’s supposed to happen, and when it’s supposed to happen.

But I just can’t get the words out.  And at first, I couldn’t quite figure out why.

Then I finally realized the problem was the outline.

My imagination seems to be rebelling against the restriction of knowing exactly what comes next, instead of my usual way of working, which, though it often leaves plot holes in the finished manuscript, also means that I’m sometimes surprised — in a good way — by what ends up on the pages.  It’s as if my muse has been thrown in here:

Jellyfish Display at the Mandalay Bay Aquarium, Las Vegas, Nevada. Photographed in May 2011.

And though it knows which way its supposed to lead me in order  to reach my goal, it feels like I’m going to be stung, no matter which way I turn.

Honestly, I don’t know what’s going to become of this story.  I still love it, I can still picture the characters in my head, as fascinating as the first day I imagined them.

But right now, my imagination has them locked in a straightjacket.  And no, that’s not part of the plot.

I’m going to keep plugging away.  I’m going to try to forget everything I outlined and just focus on the story.  To keep pushing at the block.

How do you deal with a story that just doesn’t want to be written?

Going around and around in circles as I’ve been working on the revisions of my novel. Got a few new scenes that I wanted to add in, but I’ve been stuck. For months.

And, as you can see, I haven’t had anything to blog about either…