Nov 30, 2017

Dealing With Writer's Block

I knew this would eventually happen.  After five years of constant obsession over writing, editing, and improving my craft, I knew I would eventually hit a wall.  And, in true Susan Allred fashion, this writer's block is spectacular. Not spectacular as in, "this is so much fun I must do this every winter." More like "is this ever going to end? I have stories to write this century."

And it hasn't been just novel writing. The inspiration for our mystery game business has dried up, I have difficulty editing for more than fifteen minutes at a time, and I posted all of 238 words for NaNoWriMo in the month of November. Sigh. That's still 238 more words than I wrote in October.

Every day I sit at my computer with a list of different topics I could be writing about. And every day, I stare at a blank screen. I've plotted my Tim Reaper book twice, hoping to get the creative juices flowing. I've read other author's books. I've listened to a variety of audible books. I consider story lines as I'm driving and falling asleep, and have post-it notes all around my work space with ideas and prompts to motivate me to work.

I pray. I read my scriptures. Yesterday I went to the temple in hopes of finding the peace I need to begin working again. This blog is the closest thing to writing I've done all month. I'll take it.

As I struggle to find the creativity I need to push through this quagmire of creative mud, I'm reminded of those in the scriptures who endured hardships much more difficult than mine for years, sometimes decades, before finding relief.  I'm reminded that this minor struggle is a twinkle in the fabric of time, and it will pass. 

Until then, I take a deep breath, set my stories aside, and focus on my family during this holiday season.  Maybe what my mind is really telling me is that I need to spend more time with the little ones while they're still in my home. Make new Christmas memories, bake cookies, visit friends and loved ones, and serve those around me. 

What is a few months of writer's block if it means strengthening family and relationships and truly celebrating the birth of our Savior? So, I guess for now, I will continue to plot my stories while they're fresh in my head. And the true writing will begin in January. Sigh.  This too shall pass.


  1. One of the things I discovered during my last major writer's block episode was that writing in my journal about some of the important events I hadn't recorded helped reopen the creativity. (And by important, I don't mean happy. 2013 was a rough year.)

  2. I believe in times and seasons. Maybe this is a time for you to regroup and lay off the internal pressure....the world throws plenty at you without your help. I agree; journaling is healthy.

  3. Ditto on that times and seasons thing. I loved reading your inspired thoughts. They are relevant to my life, even though I am an empty-nester. Grans have moved in for awhile and I love the chance I have to create memories with them right here, right now. Thank you for the reminder to focus on the important things. I think it makes our writing all the better in the end. hugs~

  4. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. It's been a rough several months. I think journaling/blogging about some of the important things going on in my life is an excellent suggestion. It's been a while. :)


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