Saturday, April 25, 2015

The 3 Amigas - Climbing over Writer’s Block.

Today we have one of the #3Amigas, Bella Francis, at the Pink Heart Society talking about combating writer's block...

As a part time writer, it’s easy to claim, rather arrogantly, to have never had to step over writer’s block.  Surely every time I sat down to write and produced – nothing – it was because I had to prepare a teaching plan, make a Baked Alaska (never happened) or check emails, media or do just a tiny bit of online shopping.

But when the weeks ratchet by there are only so many times you can claim to have been THAT busy, not when the word count still hasn’t reached a four figure sum.  So this week, when the long-fingered grip of guilt slid silkily round my neck, I knew that I could pretend no longer.  I’d hit The Block.  Of course there were a million mitigating factors: some of them the delicious distraction of falling in love (sigh), some of them the full-on life dramas that accompany cohabiting with teens, but ultimately, I had written, hmmm, zip.

Writing back story, getting to know characters, writing the rough draft – all legitimate excuses.  But writing absolutely nothing is not acceptable.  It’s just  - lazy!  And more importantly, it’s the aspect of writing that separates the sheep from the lambs, the Noras from the….you know what I mean.

Advice from the great and the good (ergo the successful) is to get a routine, knuckle down and just DO IT!  Roll out the rewards after – four thousand words, and not before!  Turn off the router and focus.  And then it will all happen, right?

Well, pretty much.  

Today instead of writing, I met an old friend, a dear friend, a friend so full of life, wisdom and love for her fellow (wo)man that I realised that the pointlessness of guilt. 

So I wasn’t sitting at my laptop, but I was catching up, learning, reconnecting, storing shared memories and absorbing another thousand wiles that will find themselves onto the page, one way or another.  My friend congratulated me on becoming published and reminded me that in the twenty five years we’ve known each other I’ve always written.  

And so I have, consistently, if not unremittingly.  

There’s no point weighing ourselves down with perceived failure: life is to be lived, time is not to be wasted, but sometimes we need a little stock-take to remind ourselves of our priorities. 

Mine are to finish my next book – the story of Dante and the Duchess, to make that Baked Alaska (I bet Jennifer Hayward has a great recipe!) and to spread a little bit more love in the world.  Who could possibly feel guilt about that?

What are your tips for getting over writer's block? Join the debate in the comments!!

Bella's latest title, The Scandal Behind the Wedding, is available as Presents in the US and as ModernTempted in the UK:

A wedding of convenience!

Recently jilted schoolteacher Georgia Blue refuses to mope over her lousy ex—she's taking on Dubai, one wild party at a time! Escaping a scandalous police raid so wasn't part of her plan…not to mention her superhot encounter with fellow party-escapee, sexy entrepreneur Danny Ryan!

Danny might be Dubai's latest darling, but even he can't afford to be papped leaving a hotel room with a thoroughly seduced-looking Georgia—not with the business deal of his life about to close! A quickie temporary marriage should let them both off the hook—except there's nothing quick about Danny's plans for celebrating their wedding night!

Bella Francis lives in Scotland with her family. To find out more you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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