Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Working Through Writer's Block

By YA Fantasy author Andrea Buginsky

Writer's block is something all writers experience at one time or another, and most likely a lot more than once. It can be very frustrating to get through, but once you do, you're usually good to go for a while. But what happens when that block turns into a huge gap in your writing life?

Lately, I've had a lot more than a block in my writing...more like a black hole. I just haven't felt very into working on my project. I still do the smaller assignments I receive from my freelancing work, but when it comes to my YA novel I started at the end of last year, I'm a bit mystified by why I can't seem to get back into it. Is it a major case of writer's block, or something more?

When you've been away from a project for a long time, it's very hard to get back into it. The longer you stay away, the harder it becomes. There are several different books available on working through writer's block and other problems writer's face that may cause them to lose focus on their projects, with exercises to help them get back into it. One such book that comes to mind is Kristi Holl's new book "More Writer's First Aid."

In her new book, Holl talks about writing habits that can help you, how to deal with different emotions that may cause you to lose interest in your writing and family crises that may pop up and take you away from your writing for a significant period of time. Any of these causes can pull you away from your writing for a significant time, making it harder and harder for you to get back into it.

There are other books and websites that can help you get through these tough times. If your block is caused by depression, and you're having trouble figuring out what's causing the depression or how to deal with it, The Mood Gym can help teach you cognitive skills for coping with your depression and preventing it from coming back. Journaling can also help you deal with what's causing your block by giving you a place to write what you feel without the pressure of writing something publishable. Your journal is for you and no one else! Feel free to write exactly what's on your mind, and get it all out. Then, look back at what you wrote and see if you can find the cause of your block somewhere in there.

If all else fails and you just can't seem to come out of your fog, try talking to someone. If you have access to a counselor or psychologist, you may want to schedule a session to see if you can pinpoint where your block is coming from. If you don't, a close family member or friend may be able to help. Just having someone to open up to and let your thoughts and feelings out can help. Then he or she can help you work through your block.

Not being able to write when you want to can be very frustrating. Don't let the frustration itself add to your block. Find a way to work through it and find the cause of the block so you can deal with it once and for all.

Andrea Buginsky is the author of "The Chosen," available from Solstice Publishing.

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