There are times in our writing career when we don’t want to get up and turn on the computer and pull up our work in progress. If we do turn it on, we don’t want to do anything except play solitaire or hearts or see what we can find to occupy our mind on the internet.
After all, when we left off we had written ourselves in a corner and aren’t sure which way to go now. Our characters are stubborn. They won’t follow directions. Our plots are thin and watery – just like stale dish water. Nobody will care what happens to our hero. At the moment we don’t care either. No publisher will ever put out this junk and if it happens to get in print no one will buy it and if they do they’ll toss it away after reading a few pages. Why not chuck it all and get a real job or volunteer where you can actually do some good in this world?
It isn’t the end of the world, though we might think it is. We’ve just come to that place most writers get to every now and then in their career. We’ve run smack dab into that dreaded enemy, WRITERS BLOCK. It doesn’t happen often, and it doesn’t last forever, but it’s one thing that most of us have to contend with on occasion. The big question is what are we going to do about it?
After I rant and rave to my cat and swear I’m never going to write another word, I calm down and remember a story I read a long time ago. I think it was a true story, but I don’t recall the names or where it took place, though it had to be in the west, probably California. It went something like this: A man sold everything he owned and invested in equipment, went to an area where gold had been found. He used all his resources and dug and dug, but no gold. He ran out of money and eventually he grew so discouraged he gave up and sold his equipment and moved back east to start all over. The man who bought the mine hired a surveyor and was told to move six feet either right or left, I don’t remember, and start digging. In a short time he hit gold and the mine became one of the largest gold producing sights ever found.
My mood changes and I get back on the computer and pull up that work in progress and begin working my way out of the corner. I’m not about to give up when I might be only six rejections from the next sale, or six small books away from that big contract.