3 Life Lessons I Learned from Writer’s Block

As I work on this draft of Tether, I’ve run into some stumbling blocks. I know the main points of the story, but have had some trouble connecting the dots in a way that makes sense and seems organic to the story I’ve told so far.
Last night, I was browsing through reference books about writing, looking for something that might help me through a particular plot problem I’ve been dealing with. While the two books I was looking through were helpful, I had a nagging feeling that I needed to go look at another book on my shelf. At first, I ignored the thought, but it was persistent, so I got up off my comfy sofa and retrieved the book.
It actually has a section on outlining when a draft isn’t working, which I figured would be useful, and worth the effort it took to move off of said comfy sofa. As it turns out, there was even more this book had to offer. Tucked in the pages, were three sheets of notebook paper, the first of which had the heading, “The Gateway Series” and was dated May 30, 2011.
For those keeping track, that’s just two weeks after I published Gateway, Book 1 in the series. The three pages contained my thoughts on what needed to happen during the series in order to tell the story and convey the theme I had in mind. While some of the events I had planned out have changed, written in one line, was the exact answer I needed in order to finish this draft. And it was an answer I’d had almost three years ago and forgot.
My lesson in this is threefold:
  1. Trust your instincts. If I hadn’t listened to the voice telling me to pick up that book, I’d still be having plot problems.
  2. Trust that an answer exists. When I sat down to read, I had a very receptive mindset. I’d let go of (most of) my worry, and was willing to just relax, get aligned with the story–and my role as the writer of it–and keep plugging away.
  3.  You might already know the answer and just need to remember/rediscover it.
I don’t think this is limited to writing, but extends to life in general. When I get more aligned with the solution than the problem, the answer always comes more quickly, and often effortlessly. Which, by the way, I already knew. I just forget sometimes 🙂