In the most recent chapter (chapter 14, "Forgiveness") of the Æfintýri, book II, Jada's mom has forgiven both Siggi and Jada for their various sins against her, so, we've come to completion for Jada's mom: she can now let go of a lot of her anger, and, instead of being an obstacle to both Jada and to Siggi, she can, well, she can do whatever, because this conflict is now done.
Not for me as the writer, because that means that everything is done and that anything can happen.
Okay, no problem: next chapter. Jada's still at the hospital and things are now "all better" for everybody. Yay! Happy-ending dénoument.
But there's a problem now: I go to start chapter 15 and ...
... and nothing. Not word one comes out onto the page. What to do? Massive panic? Yup. At the disco? Even better!
Okay, so, besides having a massive panic attack at the disco, what are some things that I do when the writers' block hits me?
- Tell myself not to beat myself up, ... as I'm beating myself up. This is the most important rule for me. Why? Well, for sure, I'm going to go into the 'beat myself up'-phase, but – hey! – I've been here before. In fact, I spent one three-year period in writers' block. You think you have writers' block? Let me tell you about my writers' block! But beating myself up only causes the downward spiral, and the downward spiral is no fun and doesn't accomplish getting the words on to the page. Okay, so I have writers' block. Okay. So what? Who cares? Some people do ("geophf, next chapter, please,") but they'll live or they won't, just like me.
- Don't write. Okay, every author everywhere says, "You've got writers' block? Great! Get to writing!" I say, okay, fine, be that way, and get to writing, if that works for you, but here's what worked for me: I took the rest of the day off, I went to bed, and slept on it. The next morning (this morning), I had the next chapter in my head. Other things that work for me:
- read: read some awesomely written work, and become inspired
- watch: watch a movie that you can taste how well the writing of it was, and become inspired
- walk: and smell the flowers, and become inspired
- shop, at the mall: people-watch, listen in on one conversation, and become inspired
- You're trying to write something. Okay, stop right there. How many people are trying to write something. A lot, right? How many people are writing something? A very, very few. You've got writers' block because you've written something already, and now you're stuck. Well, pilgrim: you've written something already. You've just separated yourself out to the 1% of the world that has written something. Be grateful that God gave you this gift made especially for you: you've written something.
- ... but you can't. Okay, fine. You can't write a single d-mn word. You are stuck. Be grateful. "God, I'm trying to write something, and I can't. Bless you, Lord!" God is tryna tell you sumthin', pilgrim! God is telling you this: "not now," or "overcome this," or, in my case: "I've got something so much better for you that what you want to write." Let's face it, writers' block is you could write something – anything! – that you know is going to be el crapola now, or you could just wait a minute, or day, or, in my case, three years, and write something so much better. Now, Benjamin Franklin says: "I'll take the speckled ax now" instead of the perfect ax at four times the cost, so balance what the proper waiting time is. What is the proper waiting time? Well, from my experience, waiting three years, or in the case of one PhD student, seven years, is way, ... way, way, way, WAAAAAAYYYY too long. Give yourself a day. Nothing still? Give yourself another day, but in this other day, do something different. The first day you moped? No results? So maybe try something from 2. above and see what inspiration percolates for you. And also be grateful. Thank God you have the ability to write and you have something to say that will touch hearts, then listen to see what God has to say to you to direct what you have to write.