Also known as “what the fuck is this. I know how to write don’t I????”

Me: 8 am

Writer’s block is something that, on a good day, I insist isn’t a real thing. Mostly because I believe it isn’t. It’s an excuse I used for years as to why things weren’t jivin’ like John Travolta in a pink shirt.

Of course, that all changes when I experience something like writer’s block.

I’ve been dealing with this in my latest work I’ve been labouring through. My yet unnamed Wonderland book has everything I wanted to write: big damn heroes, scoundrels, insane queens, disappearing cats who can talk. It is like a Jim Henson story for me and being its writer I, of course, love it.

Right now, she ain’t loving me.

This story has been mercurial from the start. I went from a completely realistic world to one set similar to how a Terry Gilliam movie might go. Fantasy blends into reality, reality bleeds into fantasy. It has been a tremendous exercise for a book that isn’t going to be very long.

And right now? I hate her. So very very much.

If I could take a machete to my pages I would if I thought that chopping them into oversized slices would do me any good. I’d give up. I’d sulk and grumble and never touch another key or pen in my worlds because goddamn I suck. Suck worse than Avengers: Age of Ultron (don’t fight me on this one. I ain’t changing my mind) . Everything sucks.

Then I remind myself to grow the hell up.

You just have to remind yourself: It’s going to suck sometimes.

Because I’ve done this all before. Usually towards the end of the book but it always does happen. I get a blockage going on and the world caves in. I doubt myself. No one is gonna buy this one either, an evil little voice growls in my ear, so why bother?

Why indeed.

Truth of the matter is, I don’t really write for other people. I don’t care what other people want from my writing because half the time the story is just feeding through. So I know when I start stalling on a story, it isn’t that the story isn’t working because I’m blocked by some unknown entity I’ve called Grendel for obvious reasons.

Nope. That’s not the reason.

I’m blocked because I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere

That’s par for course. Game over. Do not pass go until you sit there and figure shit out.

I hate this part. It is like surgery. I have to slice and dice delicately because I’m not sure myself where it is that I took the wrong turn. Was one character actually a good guy? Was that bad corner of Wonderland actually the place where an epic battle should have taken place?

Probably not. Probably. Could be….

Figuring things out from what you think is writer’s block isn’t a hard thing. You just have to have the fortitude to sit there, read what you think has become garbage, and remind yourself that this is just the discovery process. First drafts are supposed to be messy. Gross, even. You just got to hold fast and decide you’re not giving up.

Of course, I could be wrong. All I know is that when I sit there and start re-sewing the story back together, my writing gets better than it was before.

It’s a process.

You just have to remind yourself: It’s going to suck sometimes.

Stacie Hanson