Friday, 7 January 2011

Overcoming The Opposite Of Writer's Block . . .

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Now is the time to get back into the routine of life and blogging.

A friend of mine asked me for some advice the other day, and I have to say it's the first time I've ever considered this. She asked how to overcome the opposite of Writer's Block. She said she has so many ideas racing through her mind, how can she possibly know which one to choose?


Writer's block is a horrible thing and can affect any writer at any time. I've always had a novel on the go since I was a kid, and rarely suffer with it, but I have to confess these last few months have been harsh for me. I don't know why, and I have no idea where it came from. One minute my fingers were steaming across the keyboard, the next they refused to work. The words I needed just no longer come. It's hard to explain. I still had the enthusiasm for the story. I knew exactly where I was going (I'm a planner), I was nearing the end (the time when writing normally speeds up) and I was really excited about finishing it (even designed a front cover).

So why couldn't I write?

I soldiered on though, and I'm glad to say that I worked through the block and finished my novel, Kiss of the Gypsy, on New Years Day. 87,000 words. And the last 10,000 words steamed out so fast it was like they no longer wanted to be contained. I have no excuse for why I struggled, but happily things are back to normal.

Now I'm suffering with the opposite of writer's block. Because I'm a planner, I'm always planning my next piece while I'm writing the current piece. This way when one is finished, I can jump straight into the next. It's how I've always worked. However, because I wasn't writing I was looking for inspiration, and now I have so many ideas floating about in that big, wide space between my ears. I just can't decide which one to go for next. Luckily I'm editing so I still have time to decide, but I'm not too keen on the feeling of not knowing where I'm going.

I couldn't offer my friend any valuable advice other than just weighing up the pros and cons of each and picking. That's what I have to do.

If you've ever suffered with Writer's Block, how have you coped? Or if you suffer with the opposite of Writer's Block, how have you decided what path to take? Would be interesting to hear thoughts . . .


  1. I have both, but have too many ideas is the easiest to deal with. I put all my ideas in a file; most of them I just put brief notes down and leave it at that. If I do write a scene or two, then I call it writing practice.

    Choosing an idea often boils down to just making a decision. Suppose you have several that are equally promising? Give them numbers and roll a die - then stick with your choice.

    Writer's block is more of a problem and it comes in the rewriting phase. Getting the first draft down is easy. Getting it right is much harder. This time round I've decided that I need therapy to get over it!

  2. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. :)

    I usually get Writer's Block, and believe me it's quite annoying. When I do get it, I just take a long break from writing, and fill my time with other hobbies. When I get some new ideas, then I go back to writing and see what I can come up with.

  3. Not sure if it will help you, but when I have too many great ideas for stories, I often end up combining some of them to make one really awesome story. For instance I had a lot of ideas for a Russian mafia story set in the 1990's and another sci-fi story set in the early 2100's. I found I could really make the story awesome if I moved the sci-fi location to Moscow and incorporated the mafia action story.