When I'm Stuck

I've been a writing machine since I got back from RWA in early July.  I've been working hard on a new novella that I couldn't be more excited about.  It has a second chance at love and a secondary sports storyline.  Until two weeks ago the words flowed easy as can be.  Then I got stuck. When I'm not writing romance novels at my kitchen table, I'm a TV news producer.  That means I'm constantly writing for work.  I can proudly say I've never had writer's block in my professional life, but that's hardly surprising.  That world is deadline heavy, and there are no opportunities to dither.  If you don't write, you don't get paid, and momma needs new shoes.

Fiction writing has not always been so kind to me.  I used to fall victim to writer's block just like most people.  I would sit in front of the dreaded blinking cursor, stressing and stressing that I couldn't figure out what part of my story came next.  It was awful.

Then I realized this made no sense.  If I can avoid writer's block when I'm cranking out news copy each and every day, why can't I do avoid it when I'm writing romance?  The content might be different, but the process?  Not really.

Last week I felt writer's block trying to sneak up on me as I typed away at the kitchen table.  Immediately I deployed the two weapons I've learned work best for me.

1) Get over linear writing and write through the block.s0706554_sc7

I used to feel that if I wasn't pushing the story forward by churning out pages and pages of chronological action I was doing it wrong.  Now I sometimes set my timeline aside and work on whatever scene is knocking around in my head.  If that scene jumps to the very end of the novel, so be it.  The point is that I'm still writing.  My novel is still growing.

2) Change how you physically write.

A couple of years ago I learned that the most powerful thing that I can do to kick-start my writing is change how I put down words on the page.  I can't explain why, but for some reason moving from the computer to good old pen and paper is like magic.  I can't write as quickly as I type, and slowing down seems to really help.

Here's the one catch: I only use one kind of pen.  The Pilot Precise V5 Extra Fine Rollerball Pen in black is my weapon of choice.  For editing I use the red version of this pen.  The architect in my life says that everyone in his industry uses these for work because they create a fine line with rapid drying ink.  I use them because they feel right.  To each her own.

What tools to do you use to fight off writer's block?