It is such a perfect description of what happens. I will be writing away at work, pick up a new piece of copy to disassemble into EW style (i.e., putting the elevator information first) and go blank. After all, what is exciting about yet another anthill (read high rise) in a big city somewhere in the world?! A building that may or likely not be a very appealing design (Dubia being an exception) with elevators that will probably boast of being the fastest which would almost be a necessity in what is now called super high rise. I generally fall back on the usual who, what, why, when, where and how in those moments to get through copy. It's just column material.
But when I draw a blank on a major feature story, I do what every good writer does, I procrastinate. I wait until my boss (old boss, I’m now that boss gulp) says I have to have this for this issue. Then I force myself to organize the material in way that is eyecatching, sometimes with photos, sometimes with information. I usually feel embarrassed about the final product knowing it didn’t have my full attention.
But what about writer’s block when there is no deadline. When you are not really forced to write, when no one will really know that you have a block, or care? I write with an old college roommate and for fun we do what is now called fan-fic. It serves a dual purpose. We write about favorite stuff, and it keeps us writing. For a few years, we went gunho on elaborating on storylines based off the movie or show. Some we have parlayed into short stories, one of which has been published, two rejected. Now, we’re back to just having fun with it. Only we aren’t.
The latest foray has come to an abrupt halt. We wrote ourselves into the proverbial corner and had to back out. So, being the good troopers we are, we went all the way back to where this “case” began with a clearer vision and proceeded to rewrite. . .well more like fight about the rewrite. The usual formula is I write, she edits. Mostly, it works. Lately, not so much. I’m struggling to write, get frustrated when she points out the flaws and grumble about the whole stupid story in the first place.
Last night, I finally gave up, told her to either write it herself or drop the whole thing. I was serious.
So the question is when you are writing for yourself so to speak or when there is no deadline, how do you overcome writer’s block? I know I can google it. I’m asking my sisters what they do.
And thanks in advance for your advice. I need it.