Sledgehammer please, I need to smash this block.

Those of you that had followed my blog for a long time know that writer’s block is something I had suffered with very little in the past. I hit the typical mid novel wall or struggled to find the perfect word to sum up a concept from time to time but full on block had just never hit me. I had been lucky.

As you can see my last post was about NANO. That was written back in November of course. I failed NANO. I could not complete and validate in time. Finding time to write was difficult. Finding the words was becoming a monstrous task. In the past reading has inspired me, television has inspired me, art has inspired me and even life has inspired me. At the moment the inspiration seems to be gone.

Emotions are a fickle thing and I have discovered my muse only likes to hang with me when mine are positive. I have had a difficult few months due to stuff going on in my personal life. My muse has decided she cannot live under such conditions and has packed her bags and decided she will only return once I become better company for her. This blog post is my first attempt at moving forward. I figure if I try to write this or anything for that matter perhaps inspiration will return and I will get back to work finishing the novel that is now gathering dust and cobwebs.

So I ask you my blog readers. What do you do when an emotional block creates a writer’s block?


About Billie Jo Schinnerer

Born and raised on the edge of the Helderberg Escarpment in eastern New York. Formerly a teacher. Moved to the North West area of England in 2003. Now a mother of three who doesn’t really know what she wants to be when she grows up.
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15 Responses to Sledgehammer please, I need to smash this block.

  1. Hope your muse moves back in soon!

  2. Welcome back to the world that just won’t let us go, no matter what. (Sometimes I wish i didn’t have this deep-seated drive to write. Wouldn’t life be easier without it?) I pulled off the 50,000, then pretty much stopped dead come Dec. 1st. I thought of you the other day when I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo (April.) ‘Wondered if you were writing, and if you might want be one of my cabin mates.

    Then I found out that my hours at work for that time-frame are going to be twice what I thought they’d be … maybe more. (I don’t have the heart to sum those numbers.) I had a writerly fit. Now I’m trying to come back form that. My strategy is to start posting to my blog waaaay more often, and to stop agonizing about posts so. A sort of social therepy. I may also have to revise my nano goals, but I’ve decided not to drop out.

    The “camp” session seems more free form and playful. Have a look and see if it might be the sledgehammer you need.

    This is my profile there —

  3. Thank you for that. I did camp nanowrimo in the summer and it was brilliant, I will certainly think about going to camp in April. I am reducing my work hours then and hoping to have some more spare time. I suppose worse case scenario I can write lists of chores and grocery lists if my muse doesn’t return.

  4. pattisj says:

    Sometimes we just need a break from writing. Get a good dose of spring fever. 🙂

  5. Ken Broad says:

    Hey friend,

    A specter from the past speaks from the wasteland of the mother of all blockages! I totally know what you mean 😦 . For me a new job kicked the legs out from under any creativity that I HAD (looked everywhere and poof it’s gone) It was like I ran headlong into a wall at full speed. I tired to keep up but real life similar to a crying baby demanded I pay attention to it and soon writing was something I used to do.Several false reboots (new blogs) later here I am watching the writing world pass me by.

    But on to what I really meant to say. I think that writing is somewhat similar to riding a bike. Once you know to do it your all set. You may not always own a bike and you may not be ready to do the Tour de France when you do get back on one, but it does come back to you. Anybody who has read anything you have written will attest that you do have skill and wonderful stories in you.

    Muses are smart things. Perhaps she cleared out to give the time you needed to deal with other things. She’ll be back. In bleak winter we all wish for spring and the rebirth it brings. But spring being spring moves at its own time which can be frustrating. Just keep in mind that it does get here (eventually) so there is hope. So for now why have a cuppa, and read some of the old stuff you wrote. Perhaps you don’t need a sledgehammer as much as a shovel 🙂 (if only for the bunk I’ve cluttered your comments with).

    Have I confused you yet? I’ve certainly have confused myself! (I was always good at comic relief)

    Chin up! This too shall pass.

    PS – if you happen to see my muse please tell him to get his butt back home!

    • My dear old friend Ken, it is lovely to see you again. Life certainly has a way of pushing itself upon us. I am hoping my muse is on vacation with yours and they both come to their senses and return soon. Perhaps they will bring with them time too. 🙂

  6. Selena says:

    I can so sympathize. My own monstrous block lasted nearly a year. I finally had to let go of it all, allowing myself to say that maybe I was done writing. The old muse van winkle is just now waking up. I think being active, doing new things, and that good dose of spring fever is a good way to getting back to the swing of things. Best of luck, Billie Jo. It’s good to see you posting again!

    • Thank you my wise friend Selena. I have missed reading up on everyone too and think revisiting everyone’s blogs and seeing how they are getting on might just help too.

      I am glad to hear there are stirrings inside of you and your own gift is returning. I look forward to reading what it brings with it.

      Thank you for taking the time to visit me again.

  7. Jody Moller says:

    Hey Billie Jo,

    I participated in NaNo for the first time last year and managed to hit my 50,000 words (believe me I was pretty stoked) but then the strangest thing happened at 50,000 words my novel wasn’t finished (in fact it was about 30K short) but for some reason I stopped writing. Months went by and I didn’t write a single word on my novel. I can’t tell you where my motivation went, it’s not that my life got any busier or I decided to concentrate on blogging (I haven’t written a blog post since last October) I just didn’t write. I tried to get back into it by doing some plotting and some editing on one of my other novels but nothing held my interest.

    Last week I finally decided I’d had enough, so I turned on my computer and decided to write 1000 words everyday on my book, even if they were terrible, I would work on it everyday and at least then I would be getting closer to the end. I’m now 7 days in and 7000 words closer to the finish than I was a week ago and that’s a pretty good feeling.

    Stay positive, the muse will return. And don’t forget you write for you, not for anyone else. It doesn’t matter if it’s bad or boring or both. Just write and I’m sure the muse will pop her head in to see what your doing.

  8. Nice to see you back, Billie! I’d been wondering where you’d got to 🙂

    Hope things are going well for you now. I think time is probably the best cure; trying to force yourself to write when you don’t feel like it will likely result in you not being able to, and if you keep doing that you’ll get stuck in that pattern. It might take a while, but if you step away from writing entirely, your muse will return eventually, and will probably arrive along with an increased productivity drive (the first day when my mind is clear after a few days of writer’s block is usually a day in which I get ten times more stuff done that I would have otherwise).

    Hope you see your muse again soon.

  9. Evelyn says:

    I write more when I am emotional. Happy me doesnt have much to say. I mean sometimes she does, but usually she is busy doing, not writing.
    you’ll get it back. dont worry. I failed Nano too. 🙂 not gonna stop us from trying again, right? NOPE.

  10. Pingback: Sledgehammer please, I need to smash this block. | Out of the Woods | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

  11. peterhobbs1 says:

    In my humble opinion it is about losing and finding your passion, the words are always in you, it is giving them a route out of you that is the key. I have suffered block for a long time and just now realized what has happened to me. Best of luck Billie, I know you are back on the right path.

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