I thought it was the holidays, birthdays (two of the monsters have birthdays immediately in January), basketball schedule, getting sick, Evil Day Job stress, other edits…
But in the end, I knew the truth. I was struggling with an aspect of the premise. I just couldn’t get my mind wrapped around it. And if my subconscious isn’t buying it, then the readers surely won’t buy it!
Of course we ARE so busy right now that finding paper and pencil time has been difficult. Either I’m in the car, or working late, or scrambling to pick up someone, or something. I’ve had to do my “unstuck” process in pieces but I finally had a breakthrough over my lunch today. I believe I’ve blogged about this process before, but I’ll talk about it again in case you missed it.
1. Set the stage for creativity with music. I prefer to listen to an iPhone app, Naturespace, specifically the Peyote soundtrack that’s like a shaman beating on a drum. It might also be a specific song that fits the story to a T (Take Me To Church was Charlie’s theme song).
2. Go back to the basics with pen and paper. For me, that means a good quality notebook (but not so nice that I don’t want to write in and spoil!) and colored pens. I *have* to have at least one purple pen. Then green. Those are my two “magic” pens. But other colors and even a pencil is good too. I like the colors. It makes me see things differently.
3. Journal. The first thing I do is write about why I’m stuck or the project in general. What do I not like about it? Why am I feeling reluctance or uneasiness for the project? I have to drill down into what’s bothering me and that’s not always easy. e.g. maybe I find myself cleaning the toilet rather than writing. But why?
4. Using the colored pens and paper, start brainstorming. This time, I divided the page into two and did a quick and dirty compare/contrast of two possible ways the original premise could go. Pretty quickly, I had an idea of where I’d gone wrong, but I still didn’t know how to fix it.
5. Tarot. Once I knew the problem, I wrote down a few questions I had to figure out. Then I shuffled my favorite tarot deck (The Steampunk Tarot) and drew three cards only.
WHAMMO. There was my solution in three cards. Not joking. That’ll be another blog post!
P.S. The journal you see is some digital papers I bought from etsy (store Tsunami Rose) so I could create my own artsy journal. I ran through a buttload of ink over the holidays!
Do you have any tried and true methods to breaking through a writing obstacle?