There is no secret as to how you finish a novel, you just steadily work on it: page by page, chapter by chapter, day by day.
I write 4-5 days a week. And I pretty much follow the same ritual. I write in the mornings when it’s quiet. I drink 1-2 cups of very strong coffee with half & half. I open the file and go to the page where I left off. For several years, I haven’t had a daily word count nor a time goal. I know I’m finished for the day when I’m finished, when I just can’t focus and my mind shuts down. I don’t force myself to keep going. I’m done.
To me, taking a break and writer’s block are two different creatures. I purposely take a break by not even opening the file. I take breaks all the time, but when I’m ready to sit back down and write, it’s business as usual.
One morning, not too long ago, I sat down at my computer with my cup of very strong coffee with half & half, opened my book file, and got that feeling I get when I’m finished writing for the day. Um … what? This went on for a couple of days until I decided to “take a break.”
I have my suspicions as to why this happened, and I’m sure every writer has different reasons for writer’s block. But for whatever reason my brain had for not wanting to write, I didn’t like it. For goodness sakes, I’m almost finished with my second draft!
So here are a few things I did to get back to writing:
- I sat at my computer at night, when everyone was home and it was noisy, with a glass of Pinot Grigio – So Instead of: morning, coffee, and quiet, it was: night, wine, and noise.
- I told myself I was just going to read over a chapter – I started changing a word here and there and eventually I was reconstructing sentences.
- I have the rough draft, but there are some major changes that I want to make, and I haven’t actually wrote those down, they’re just in my head. I told myself I needed to make notes on the chapters so I wouldn’t forget during this non-writing time – thankfully, I never got to those notes, instead I started working on the book.
- Instead of my usual start where I left off, I went to the end of the book and worked on the very last chapter of the novel.
You get the idea. So my conclusion: lies and deceit are the best solution to writer’s block.
I’m still not at pre-writer’s block, but the story is not at a standstill either. Because there is no secret as to how you finish a novel, you just steadily work on it: page by page, chapter by chapter, day by day.
Love and Laughter,