I often hear from people who want to write a book but don’t know how or where to begin. Or from people who have already written a book that’s ready for publication but don’t know how to get it published. I recently began a new blog series, Writing and Publishing Tips From Authors Around the World, to help writers.
The twelth contributor is U.S. author Kay Kauffman and she’s here to talk about writers block.
Writers Block by Kay Kauffman
Evil Genius: Hello, Writer, and how are you today?
Writer: Fine, thanks. And yourself?
Evil Genius: Can’t complain. Say, have you met my friend, Block?
Writer: No, can’t say that I have. Hi, Block; nice to meet you!
Block: *blinks twice* *looks around* You talkin’ to me?
Writer: Why, of course! Who else would I be talking to?
Evil Genius: (backs away) I’ll just leave you two to get acquainted, then.
Block: Well, usually when people meet me, they’re a bit hostile.
Writer: Really? Why is that?
Block: I don’t know. I just want to be friends. Forever. You know, the sort of friend with whom you spend every waking moment and even a few while you’re asleep. I mean, I don’t ask for much, except for your time. All of it.
Writer: (backs away slowly) Oh! Well…That’s nice. I guess. Gee, look at the time! I really must dash. I have…you know, things to do. You understand.
Block: No! Don’t leave me – we just met! I have lots of fun things planned: We can braid each other’s hair and bake cookies and watch Firefly and do the chicken dance and make coffee and have a classic horror movie marathon and – hey, don’t lock that door! You can’t leave me in here forever! I’ll find a way out and when I do, I’ll get you for this! I know where you live, Writer! They don’t call me “Writer’s Block” for nothing! I know where you live!
Ah, the dreaded Writer’s Block. It sucks, doesn’t it? You finally get some time to yourself, you sit down to write, and suddenly your mind is as blank as the page in front of you. The cursor mocks you. You want to howl in frustration, but that would awaken your sleeping children, at which point writer’s block would be the least of your worries.
So. What’s a writer to do? Here are some ideas:
1. Jam 37 mini marshmallows up your nose. Congratulations! You’ve just researched an interesting new way for your villain to torture his victims.*
2. Stare at people through the tines of a fork and pretend you’re in jail. How do you feel? What’s the food like? Do you have a window in your cell? Congratulations! You’ve just developed a character.
3. Go for a walk. Pay attention to your surroundings, from the songs of the birds and the calls of the squirrels to which way the wind is blowing and the feel of the earth beneath your feet. Store everything. Congratulations! You’ve just build a world. Run with (or within) it!
4. Follow your kids around. Write down everything they say. Try to see things as they do (the younger the kids, the more fun this will be). Congratulations! You’ve had fun and have some great bits of dialogue for later use.
5. Call up your oldest friend. Go to a park. Play. Relive recess. Ignore any strange looks you receive. Congratulations! You’ve just had one heck of a great time and rediscovered pure, unadulterated joy in the process.
Now it’s your turn. How do you beat writer’s block? Let me – and everyone else – know in the comments!
*Please don’t actually shove marshmallows up your nose. No good can come from that.
As a girl, Kay dreamed of being swept off her feet by her one true love. At the age of 24, it finally happened…and he’s never let her forget it. A mild-mannered secretary by day and a determined word-wrangler by night, she battles the twin evils of distraction and procrastination in order to write fantastical tales of wuv…twue wuv…with a few haiku thrown in for good measure.
The author of Tuesday Daydreams: A Journal in Verse and A Song for All Seasons: A Journal in Verse, Kay is currently hard at work on the first book in a fantasy trilogy. She resides in the midst of an Iowa corn field with her devoted husband and his mighty red pen; four crazy, cute kids; and an assortment of adorably small, furry animals.
Tuesday Daydreams captures the life and imagination of the author in vivid detail, touching on joy and loss, life’s everyday hassles, and the many faces of Mother Nature. A Song for All Seasons paints vivid pictures of the Iowa landscape in all its glory, in addition to intimate portraits of family life.
From frost-covered windowpanes and snowy vistas to rolling green fields and bright blue skies, each poem is a peek into a fading world of untamed beauty. If you’d like to pick up your own copy of Tuesday Daydreams or A Song for All Seasons, you can find them at Amazon, Amazon UK, Createspace, Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.
Care to save her from the chaos? You can find Kay in the all the usual places:
At her blog, where she shares random pictures and silly poems; on Facebook, where she shares things about cats and books; on Twitter, where she shares whatever pops into her head; on Pinterest, where she shares delicious recipes and images from her fantasy world; on Instagram, where she shares pictures of pretty sunsets; and on Tumblr, where she shares all of the above.
Pingback: I’m a guest! | Suddenly they all died. The end.
I ever get writers block in the traditional sense. I can always type gibberish, but it’s the better stuff which sometimes eludes me.
Kay Kauffman said:
Same here, Roger. I blame fatigue.
Thank God tax season is almost over! Then I can catch up on my sleep. 🙂
Vicky Carter said:
I absolutely loved this article!! You made me laugh, shake my head in agreement and want to buy your books. Congratulations you have made my day.
Kay Kauffman said:
Wow, thank you! Glad I could make you smile. 😀
dm yates said:
Loved it. Meet my friend, Block hahahaha I’ve think I’ve met that character before.
Kay Kauffman said:
Glad you like it, Donna! I know I’ve met him before. Luckily, he’s not hanging around at the moment. 🙂
Tricia Drammeh, Author said:
Great tips, Kay. (Except for the marshmallow one. lol)
Kay Kauffman said:
Thanks, Tricia! 🙂