Sometimes the river of words dries up, even for the most experienced authors. This used to be my default mode. It’s the very reason I have a tote full of partially written stories. I’d start the novel, thousands of words would pour out, then they trickled before turning into a drip that found my fingers hovering over the keyboard trying to figure out what to write. The rule to follow to combat writer’s block is:
Not many of us are fortunate enough to write full time. (Oh how I wish I were one of the lucky ones. Maybe someday.) As I mentioned in my Just Write post my plate is full. I have family and friends that demand time. I have a small craft business because I can’t stay away from crafting any more than I can stay away from storytelling, believe me, I’ve tried. There’s also the EDJ (evil day job) which is only evil because it takes up the bulk of my day and keeps me from writing (but it keeps the bills paid so...).
With all the balls I’m juggling how do I keep them all in the air? Simple.
I’m not the only writer in the family. I have not one, not two, but three cousins that have also published. My sister has jumped on the bandwagon too and is in the midst of writing to someday publish. As you can imagine when I talk to my sister the conversation often turns to writing. Since she’s still in the getting to a completed manuscript phase, she often asks me about my process. I share my techniques and encourage her to find what works for her. As she is one of my biggest cheerleaders she often says I should teach a class on it. Well, that’s not going to happen because who has that sort of time? Between my EDJ (evil day job), two children, a husband, writing, and various craft projects I surely don’t. What I do have time for is to post a few tips every now and then for aspiring authors.
If you assume something it makes me smile a little on the inside because people's facial expressions are amusing and interesting when they find out they've made a wrong assumption. When people assume the wrong thing about me, I sometimes just let it go. When I do correct the person I do so with a smile to try to nonverbally communicate that I'm not offended (it takes a lot to offend me), but I think I just make the person feel more awkward.
I once went to a concert with a friend. It happened to be a country music concert and my friend happened to be white. There was a college student, also white, there taking a visitor survey for the city. The assumption she made was that my friend was the one there for the concert and I was just tagging along because friends do that type of thing for each other. Where her assumption went wrong is which friend was tagging along with which friend. I'm the country music fan and talked my friend into coming so I didn't have to be alone.
I guess it would be better to say I dragged my friend to the concert. My friend couldn't even remember who we were there to see. Which is what I told the young lady. She responded with a simple "oh" and tried unsuccessfully to mask all her thoughts and emotions: shock (A black woman with locs is the one into country music?!), introspective debate (Did I just racial profile someone? Nah, I'm not that kind of person.) and embarrassment.
I collect moments like this in my memory vault and pull them out when I'm writing. Sometime my character's experience is the same as my, but to make it fun sometimes it's from the other person's perspective. Realistic moments like this in writing is what makes the writing relatable. Everyone has been in some situation like this.