Sitting down to write, laptop open and ready, document on screen, cursor blinking; clearly the perfect time for someone to call, knock on the door, or send an urgent text. For some reason people interrupt as soon as I’m motivated and prepared to write. Yet, during those instances when I’m staring at the screen, mind blank, stumped, feeling useless, wanting an excuse to leave the cursor, mocking me with its steady and cohesive pattern of work, all is quiet and perfect for good writing.
Interruptions and writers’ block: two irritating struggles of writing. And this is how I’ve managed to overcome them – so far.
My schedule can be busy so when I’m on a writing frenzy, interruptions are frustrating; the ones easily achieved can be done without loss of focus, but those requiring my full attention kill my rhythm.
Once I get back to the novel the best way for me to reestablish momentum is to scroll up in the story and read it over; though, this will lead to editing everything until I get to where I left off, another distraction, yet useful so I don’t mind it.
If that doesn’t work then I’ll write another scene I know I’ll enjoy; eventually allowing me to finish the part I stopped earlier. Good flow on one section will transfer over to the part I need to complete.
During writer’s block I’ll stop the ineffective process of uselessly clicking keys and do something where I’m forced to listen to my internal voice. It’s easy to get on the internet, turn on the television, or read a book when I’m at a standstill. These rarely help me overcome my writing challenges; in fact, I’m more likely to continue with such distractions instead of moving back to writing.
When I intend to work on my novel again, doing mundane chores or tasks are the best distractions. Anything where I have nothing to think about while doing it; vacuuming, dishes, sorting, filing, etc. The things I don’t enjoy doing, but need to get done, requiring no brain power to accomplish.
This way, I can think about my characters and the scene I’m struggling with as I get chores done, and my mind doesn’t change focus to another subject or story. I can keep my character’s voice in my head and develop the pieces refusing to fit together.
These techniques have been helpful to me in my writing.
I know every writer experiences periods of time when quitting is appealing; these issues have definitely jammed up my progress, for sure. However, what keeps me going is the thought of finishing and sharing my story with others.
Thanks for reading my novel journey!
What are some methods you use to get past interruptions and writer’s block?
Thanks for reading my blog!