8 Days into NaNoWriMo and I suddenly feel as though my ship has run aground. My initial progress on the project I chose to work on was not great, but I was making progress. Now I have stalled. I want to work on other things, and I will, but this project is now! Of Earth and Ice part 2 is what I am supposed to be working on, if I could only write. Curse you, writer’s block!
At the writing event I attended a few weeks ago, one of the presenters noted two distinct types of writers: planners and pantsers. The former rely on outlines, map out their strategy, and then attack their manuscript accordingly. The latter sits down and writes… by the seat of their pants. No plan, only the words of the moment to guide them forward. Neither type boasts superiority, each having benefits and pratfalls. It depends on the writer and what works best for them.
Typically I am much more of a pantser. I sit down and let the story take me where it needs to go. Rarely is there a detailed plan. Often I know the ending. Getting there is always a damned mystery.
For this project, that has gotten me into some trouble. I have an ending in mind and a general sense of the road to get there. I don’t have a map though, and I lost the road. The last few days I’ve just stared at an empty chapter waiting for a Eureka moment to propel me forward. I don’t want to lose the momentum of NaNoWriMo, but I already have. Now the stress of writer’s block is setting in. Oh no…
Three thoughts come to mind on how to resolve this issue. For one, starting an outline for the next part of the story might help. Problem is I need to know where I am going next in order to make the outline. Maybe once the juices start flowing I can push out a rough outline to prevent the next stall out, but until I get to that, it won’t help.
Next, reading more. Reading is a huge must for a writer. I am trying, although reading time and writing time for me go hand-in-hand. To do one, I am not doing the other. That is mostly due to poor time management, something I’ve been working on for years with greater focus coming these last few months.
Lastly, moving my attention to something else is the best option. With so many writing projects open I have plenty to work on. It’s a scary idea considering I am trying to instill discipline into my writing routine, however, I am ever more concerned with writing in general than with making this one project stick.
That is what I am going to do: move on. I’ll keep my NaNoWriMo project in queue, open and waiting for my spastic writing ass to be ready.