“How A First Time Author Overcomes Writer’s Block”

~ a guest post by Susan Hatton

Writer's Block 1For years I had a story line in mind for my first book. ‘Re-write the legends’ I thought, ‘it will be easy!’ I was very wrong. I would constantly stumble, falter over what colour whose eyes were. To stop forgetting minor details I tried writing them in a file titled Notes, but before I knew it I had 16 different files within that file on everything from character descriptions to character backgrounds and even building descriptions and places! There was probably more than 15 times I started writing again and stopped soon after, completely confused and frustrated at why the story was in my head and yet it wouldn’t go on paper.

When my daughter was born with a rare condition I was stuck, I wanted to fight to raise awareness but I wanted to be a fiction writer as well. Suddenly I had the idea to mingle awareness of my daughter’s condition within a fiction novel using my own experiences as leverage. Before she was born I wouldn’t have listened to statistics and numbers, I needed something exciting to grab my interest. Like a book about vampires. Inspiration struck and my passion for writing merged with my passion for making a difference. ‘I will write disabilities as though tied with the legends! Make people remember it, even if they only remember reading about some condition in a book once they can pass the knowledge on to any one they have contact with that might need it. I could really help people!’ the passion was nearly making me explode at that point! So… why was it still not going on paper?

After deciding I was going to go for it one day whether it was rubbish or not, I researched ways to help and how to move on and discovered it was a common problem known as writer’s block, so I decided to see just what writer’s block really is and if there are any tips online. What I discovered shocked me and spurred me on to get my story down and it is now being published. I can call myself an author and my dream is really happening. What I discovered is that writer’s block is only a trick of the mind and is when a writer over complicates something or writes something they THINK is rubbish and then just gives in. That made me smile.

After reading up on writers block I decided to just go for it and have fun, stop being so serious with it and just write. And I did. When people say to me now “I would love to write a book but…” my advice is simple. Open a file on your computer, write the beginning of your story and don’t stop till you have written the end. Don’t worry about characters, where they are or details or anything just write the bits that are in your head and use this as a basis to write an extended version, if you decide at that time you DO want a certain character to do something and you know what colour hair or eyes you want them to have then open another file called ‘notes to remember’ and copy the descriptions in there to use later on.

Oh and before I forget, the greatest thing I found to help my writing was caffeine. After three energy drinks and the coffee percolator on again things just started flowing, and even if it didn’t make sense when I went back to it (after recovering obviously!) it turned out I had so many terrific ideas to work from then. I found ways to spice up the boring parts and got the energy to just keep going without my eyes going blurry or closing on me half way through a sentence!

My book might never sell one copy, but in all honesty my dream was to see my name on the shelves as an author. That dream is coming true, that’s worth more than any amount of money in the world.  And writer’s block will not stop me again!

~~~~~~~~by Susan Hatton, Author of Awake Again (release date coming soon!), Blogger at http://susanpolp.wordpress.com/, Mother of three amazing children, Desperate to inspire and encourage others to follow their dreams and make the journey from writer to author.


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