Cover Reveal, My Novellas

Writer’s Block

Writer’s block sucks. It really, really, really sucks.

It sucks because it’s difficult to connect with fleshed-out characters and rich plots. It sucks because of trite advice people freely offer like golden miracle pills that don’t even have the benefit of the placebo effect.

I found the advice similar to the recommendations people give to those who suffer from depression or anxiety, like take a walk, ask for help, and meditate. I’m talking about the medical conditions, not how people often use those words to mean they’re having a bad day.

Perhaps writer’s block is one way depression or anxiety manifests itself in writers.

And don’t even get me started on people who say writer’s block isn’t real.

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My block started when my mother got sick. At the same time, my daughter was struggling at school because of bullying. In my own job, I was burned out beyond anything I’ve experienced before. There were a lot of months before resolution, which means a lot of months without writing.

Writing is my pressure release, so when that disappeared, I found it very difficult to maintain peace.

I tried the usual fixes for overcoming a block like getting up early to write before my brain was fully awake. I wrote and refused to edit, even minor spelling errors. I used Write or Die, which times you and offers rewards and punishments based on your word output.

Like I need added pressure to write‽

I created intricate plans of stories, posted story ideas all over my office, talked to friends about my story ideas, and thought about characters on hikes. I even bought a laptop so I could write at coffeehouses and in parks. I tried mind mapping, free writing, and I even typed nonsense into my keyboard in the hopes that my brain would want to engage in this activity again. Instead, I ended up with paragraphs of this: fjkdla;ueri opwq gnbkd;md fkl;a sutieopa.

What helped me was not allowing myself to write at all.

Instead I crafted. I decided to homeschool my daughter and redecorated my writing space. I planted a garden. I also took a leave of absence from my job, but I did that for my sanity, not to help me write.

There was one more thing. I went back to old stories I’d written and started to rework them. Editing was somehow easy, and I felt like I was doing something. I’ve always enjoyed editing, so I decided to play with old stories until my brain decided it was time to get back to writing.

Years ago I wrote for a very specific audience. I was and still am a lover of fan fiction, though now my obsession is hockey!fic. I know what to expect, so I don’t have to spend time falling in love before getting to the heart of the story.

From the first story I wrote, I felt like I had to compress my characters into specific molds to satisfy readers even if what was in my head was much richer. It’s no surprise to me that I was constantly adding characters of my own to my fan fiction. I also connected with secondary characters, less fleshed-out characters. Nearly every story I wrote was labeled either alternate universeout of character, or all human. And I went with M/M from the start though the original was M/F. I’ve always had a hell of a time conforming.

When I started editing these old stories, I felt free to able to expanded and transform those characters into the people they always were inside my head. More importantly, I was able to work past most of my writer’s block.

And this is where The Measure of a Man comes into the world.

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William Harris is a reserved man content living with secrets. He’s kept his sexuality private since he came out as a teen and sees no reason for coworkers to be privy to personal information, especially when there’s no one to go home to.

Nate Kelly comes into William’s life at a work function dressed as a beautiful geisha named Momo. From their first date, Nate turns William’s well-controlled world upside down. William tries to keep Nate at arm’s length, but there’s something that keeps drawing him back to the light-hearted man. William must decide if his under-the-radar life can contain someone as immeasurable as Nate, even if that means risking his long-held secrets.

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1 thought on “Writer’s Block”

  1. I found this beautiful story on allowance, I read the inert of the story and had to read it. I got one paragraph in and. Know I read this story before or very similar on fan fiction site. It has much depth to it. There is a lot to learn from your story, your are who you are. To proud of your self, and will love more for it. Thank you for writing a fantastic story.

    Like

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