I had the most amazing revelation a few weeks ago and it all began with a goofy sugar-high conversation with my best friend.
Let me start at the beginning…
It was a frigid winter night and I found myself watching a television show where the character development was phenomenal. It was inspiring yet at the same time, it got me really down in the dumps. See, I’m always striving to make my characters and plot come alive, but sometimes I don’t feel like I’m improving. At this point, I stopped watching television and immediately video chatted with my best friend who is also an exceptional writer. She is one of the few people in my life who truly understand the many writer blocks and anxieties of writing that hit me hard.
We caught each other up on life updates and talked about a show that we mutually enjoyed. But then the conversation got serious. I expressed to her that I had no motivation for continuing writing my next book. It wasn’t that I had a writer’s block, I knew exactly what I wanted to write, but I was just in a slump. I felt horrible and the anxiety attached to the situation was just debilitating. She told me that the lack of motivation was a normal thing as it happened to her too on occasion, but I didn’t want this to be normal for me. I wanted to write.
Then my friend got this look on her face, one that was always followed by some kind of profound statement. She used the example of building a snowman. You have in your mind exactly how the snowman should look and you even have the carrot nose, button eyes, and sticks for arms. But, you just don’t have the snow yet. You need to wait for the weather to send the right kind of snow. We can’t know what the weather will be like. Sure, we have apps, farmer’s almanac, and the weather channel. But all that can do is predict what the weather could bring. As a writer, it’s the same principle, we might have the ideas in our head, but the timing may not be right. After she gave me this wonderful pep talk, she was officially deemed as my writing guru! But, she taught me a really valuable lesson. It’s okay to be in a slump. That doesn’t make me a bad writer, far from it! In fact, slumps can be a good thing. They can teach you to slow down, focus in on a specific scene, or they can simply teach you something about yourself that you needed to know. So, if you’re a writer in the same predicament, don’t be ashamed of your slump or block. It is temporary, your snowstorm will come and it won’t be when you expect it either, you just need to be ready for when it arrives.