Last night I attended a couple hours of a brilliant event, Rochester Writers’ Night Out. We met in the quirky space that was formerly Rochester’s infamous Club A. Without the pool tables and wild goings on that (I am told) once inhabited the space, it has a certain urban charm, which was excellent for writing. Especially after they locked the doors to keep any drunks from wandering in.
We got time to write, discuss our writing, and attend workshops. One of the workshops was by Mike Kalmbach how to get un-stuck, a useful idea for any writer. I think everyone has had writer’s block or if not at least a period of literary sluggishness. He had some good tips for how to get through such periods. The key is making the story exciting again, compelling enough to write and explain.
It’s really important to have this kind of event because the number one enemy of writing, or any creative endeavor, is lack of time. It’s so easy for busyness to eat up one’s time. I only finished my book when I had 3 weeks in a row off and nothing else to do but sit and write, write, write.
The struggle to finish gets even worse when you get to a slow bit or a boring part. Sometimes the writing flows and when it does you have to let it flow! Because when it stops, it can take quite some time to get going again.
A third obstacle to writing is fragmentation… at least for me. There’s nothing wrong with having a couple things going at once – a blog and a novel for example – but more than that and the creative energy is sapped, drained, spread too thin.
So how to overcome? Make time. Focus on a particular project. Listen to your characters.
So thank you, C4, for arranging this night out. Even though I couldn’t attend all of it, I thought it was a brilliant idea and very helpful. I finished up a chapter that was going pretty slow and I feel like I’m poised to make a good 5,000 word charge…
if I could just find the time 🙂