For the last few months, I’ve been in a serious writer’s block—one that I’ve never experienced before. Why? Because I’ve been so consumed with getting the third book of my trilogy perfect. Well, as we all know, perfection is just a word…it doesn’t really exist.
But, I was struggling with the main character of the book, my “writer’s ears” couldn’t hear him talking. He was keeping all his secrets and he spoke in so many riddles, that I found myself trying to untangle them more than I was writing.
(For those of you interested in the trilogy…here’s a sneak peek at what book three will be like 😉 )
Earlier this month, I had the awesome opportunity to work with one of my best friends at an art event. We hadn’t seen each other in months and we caught up on each other's lives. This writer’s block was one of the struggles I told her about and she really encouraged me to take a different path.
See for the longest time, I had it in my head that I needed to produce a book a year. In my mind, I thought that was a reasonable timeframe, but when I brought it up to my author friends they told me they were happy to just come out with a book every few years. But, this pattern was working for me, that is until I got a new position in my day job. I found myself having less and less time/energy to write, that and being a first-time homeowner, among other things this past year has brought me and my family. My original pattern soon began to look unrealistic.
And you know, I’m okay with that now. If this writer’s block has taught me anything is that I’ve been way too focused on this trilogy. All I’ve seen is a small portion of the picture. Sometimes it’s better to take a step back and even shift gears. And I’ve found a new avenue to venture on. I’ve decided to get into screenplay writing. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for several years now and I even had a screenplay on the shelf for the last two years. I felt so much relief allowing myself to change my perspective on my writing. Now, I do plan to get back to the trilogy, so no worries about crazy cliffhangers, but this is a break I know I need.
I also think this is why artists, in general, can get into ruts. We can get so dedicated to a specific project, that we write, draw, paint ourselves into corners. With this new direction and the decision to stick with it, I gotta say, it has taken a huge weight off my shoulders and I want to encourage all my writer/artist friends out there to take a step back if you need it. Give yourself the time you need to readjust your focus, who knows, maybe your art will come out ten times better than what you initially thought.