Friday, May 24, 2013

Boring to Write Means Boring to Read

I've been mired in the depths of a bad bout of writer's block for the past few weeks.

I've talked about the dreaded writer's block before, and whether it's real or an excuse or just another word for depression isn't what I want to discuss today.

Before, I have always viewed writer's block from the perspective of what is going on with me. Lately, though, I have been grappling with the idea of what writer's block says about what I am writing. "If you're having so much trouble writing this scene, self," I told myself, "maybe it is because it's a crappy, pointless scene. Maybe something that is a struggle to write will also be a struggle to read." I've even included a few lines in my editing notes for the next draft about where I had the hardest time writing.

This was a worrying thought. It leads to a plunging downward spiral. "Okay, self, just skip to the interesting part!" I say, but I don't like to write like that. Skipping parts just makes me anxious about going back and filling them in, and I think it damages the flow of the story. (Although since I am a meticulous outliner, you'd think it would be easy to write out of order!) Besides, the few times I have tried the skipping technique, it wasn't any easier when I re-visited. It's just postponing the pain.

But as I struggled to get some words down tonight, I put that thought to rest. Sometimes it's just hard to write. Sometimes the stuff I write isn't riveting. But those don't always have to go hand in hand. Even if they did--that's what second drafts are for! So down with the self-doubt. Writer's block doesn't make me a bad writer, it just makes me a slow one!

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