Sunday, May 17, 2020

Chop that Writer’s Block

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

I’ve read several articles recently on the issue of Writer’s Block. It’s a thing. It’s not a thing. 

Well, is it a thing or not? Seems to me since so many folks are writing about it, it’s just gotta be a thing, right?

I believe it is, because I’ve obviously caught it. Like a cold virus, this thing has enveloped me into a suffocating paralysis unable to breath because of its squeeze. The more I think about not having any word count done, the more I stress and the tighter the squeeze. One would think with our current situation of staying home, there would be plenty of time to get writing completed. Apparently I’m not the only writer that is dealing with this due to other writer’s sharing their angst about not able to sit down and write currently.  

I was determined to figure out the reason for my writer’s block and I noticed several reasons: 
  • Most of my writer’s block is me blocking the act of writing.
  • I haven’t placed a priority on writing and written it in that blank 2020 planner.
  • I haven’t given myself deadlines or goals to reach.
  • I’ve let things—anything—grab my attention when I should be … “hey look, squirrel”.
  • I’ve picked up another virus, besides the cold, of  I’ll do it tomorrow-itis. 

Once I saw what was pulling me away from actual writing time, I decided to make a plan of attack. Since I often carry my phone with me wherever I go, I came up with an idea that is starting to help with that block. I realized that without my normal routine, it became easier to put off until tomorrow that which I should get done today. 

Since I sit down daily to my computer in the morning, I now pull out my planner first. That cool new planner I was so excited to use this year … until Covid changed that. Without having to add appointments and meet-ups, the planner had remained on the shelf behind the desk. Now, I look over the day’s items to be done, plan for them and get going. 

When I hit a writing block, I look at the planner. I keep a post it note that moves from day to day of house projects I’d love to get finished and unclutter my mind of. I’ll pick one, grab my phone and head off to the project. 

As an example, the other day I knew I needed to mask up and go to the grocery store. It’s been a while and the time had come to go. I barely got out of my neighborhood and a scene erupted like a shaken can of pop when opened. Sure, now that I’m not at my computer. But I have my phone with me. 

At the next red light, I pulled out my phone, opened voice memos and rattled off the idea for the scene. I can certainly talk faster than write. At the store, it hits again. I rattled off another idea into my phone. Nobody around me knew if I was talking to myself, they’re doing their best to shop and skedaddle out of there themselves. If they do hear you talking to yourself, then they are closer than the six-foot allotted to them between shoppers. 

Groceries done, I headed home all pleased with myself that I’ve productively completed two things on my to do list. Groceries and a scene or two for my WIP. 

That’s what I’ve been doing during this odd time of our lives in order to keep my words flowing. If you have been struggling to write, might I suggest you try something different than your usual writing routine? My idea of the phone is one of the ways I’m trying to change it up for myself. 

Maybe you could try writing your ideas/scenes out in longhand sitting in your car in a grocery store parking lot. It’s not quite a coffee shop, but people watching often spurs on ideas to use in your writing piece.


You’ll find Tammy seeing humor and causing laughter in every aspect of life. Her past, filled with bullying and criticism from family, is the driving force of her passion to always encourage others and give them The Reason to smile. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Larry, for 37 years, a mom to their grown daughter, Kristen, and wrapped around the paw of a little dog named Hattie. Born and raised in Ohio, her family now resides in South Carolina. She is the President of Word Weavers Upstate SC, member of ACFW and My Book Therapy/Novel Academy. She’s the Blog Editor for Word Weavers International. A Conference Assistant for Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. A monthly contributor for The Write Conversation. A contributor in the 2018 Divine Moments Compilation Book—Cool-inary Moments. Also a regular contributor to several other blogs. 

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1 comment:

  1. I do the same thing, Tammy. When I get stuck, I make the bed or put in a load of laundry, or even go down to make a cup of tea. The stuff is still floating around in my head. Next thing I know, inspiration hits. (My best ideas come in the shower!)