I really don’t get writer’s block. I can usually put two words together. If you focus on one sentence at a time, you usually don’t struggle with it.
What I do get is writer’s fatigue. That’s when you’ve managed to get 1,667 words a day for 10 days or more, and you open Scrivener, and sit there and think, “I don’t have the energy to write.” Or you suddenly think, “Yeah… right about now, just listening to someone else talk is about where my energy levels are at.”
Some weeks I can write for three weeks without it happening. It’s always at right around the “I hate my book” area, or the “uh…65% done….” area. That’s a really tough area. It’s the writer’s equivalent of 3:30 AM when you’re pulling an all-nighter, when you start falling asleep despite yourself.
Ways to combat Writer’s Block… the 5P principle. Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. If you’ve PLANNED your novel, it gets a lot easier. I know I have point A to point B to point C to point D to get to. And I know there’s a journey for every signpost. Four signposts, three journeys. You end up with about a minimum of 38 scenes per book, just based upon the growth and interaction of characters.
It’s just procrastination sets in when the book has reached a skeleton point. It’s not hard to flesh it out, just… you hit a point where you don’t want to.
That’s when you earn the title “Novelist”. You go ahead, take ONE DAY OFF… and resume the next day whether you feel like it or not. Now, at that point, everyone and their cousin will try to convince you that you need to take more time off.
The answer must be a firm “no”. Complete the book. get it done. My third novel really fought me. It fought me, it fought me, it fought me. I hated it, and kept writing. And through a great deal of grim determination, I finished it. It took me twice as long as every other book I’ve written, but I got it done. And now, I actually like it.
65% of a novel is no novel at all, according to Tom Clancey. Finish your novel. If you’re stuck on one novel, try writing a sample section of another novel. The concept is, fingers must be touching keys every day.
Or you are frustrating your own work. It’s FAR BETTER two have one novel done than 7 novels started and wilting on the vine.