Jun 21, 2016

Things That Block Writing

by Marsha Ward @MarshaWard

Lately, it's been very hard for me to write. This state hit about the time June came around, with temperatures shooting through the roof in the first week. Now, of course, massive parts of Arizona are under an excessive heat warning, even in my neck of the woods, so it's even harder to put my mind on business.

I've tried several things to get myself out of the doldrums: changing up my sleep time; napping more frequently, especially when it's so hot; putting several water bottles in the refrigerator to cool them, then actually drinking them; wearing a minimum of clothing; napping in a room that doesn't have the sun beating on it; eating lighter meals; using a spray bottle for frequent drenching; and taking a cool shower whenever I feel like it.

To no avail on the writing-a-book front. It's just too hot to think. I'm not acclimatized to higher temperatures yet.

I've tried to be more accountable for the progress of my writing by signing up for a summer-long writing event, and getting a new critique partner.

Yes, I'm getting work done in other areas: social media, blogging, re-doing a website that needed updating (more to do there), planning publication of other pieces, buying covers, formatting manuscripts for ebooks, and the like.

But Ella Ruth, my main character in the novel, isn't talking to me.

I have finally come to the conclusion that 1) I wrote a scene that Ella Ruth doesn't want in the story, and 2) she is hesitant to move on from the comfortable zone of her pity party.

I know about pity parties. I have massive to minor ones quite often. It's a thing with writers, but fortunately, most of us don't long dwell on the cause. Especially if we have ADD or ADHD. We eventually move on.

Ella Ruth has been in her doldrums since I released Gone for a Soldier two years ago. In her real time, though, it's been less than a year since the close of the American Civil War.

I guess the only thing I can do is keep writing scenes and listen to her. I hope she will approve of the new ones and help me get back on track.


  1. OH please do keep on writing. I know you figure it all out! I look forward to reading what comes next for Ella! hugs~

  2. Or maybe Ella has some ideas of her own and she is waiting for you to figure them out. Characters do that sometimes. No less than George Lucas has said several times he originally wrote Star Wars from Leia's pov, struggling until one day he realized it should be from Luke's pov. Keep listening, Ella will guide you.


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