I, for the life of me, cannot think of anything to blog about today. I might as well take this opportunity to tell you about writer's block.
By the grace of God, I don't deal with writer's block very often. I don't have weeks or months where no words come out. I might have days or weeks when I'm busy and can't find time to write, or moments when I sit at the keyboard for two hours and choke out forty-eight words, but rarely do I leave my desk without accomplishing anything.
Rarely, not never.
Instead of getting stumped, I tend to get distracted. It usually starts innocently. I'm writing and run into a question I need to answer--"What sorts of flowers grow in Orkney?" I might remember an unimportant task that--"I need to find the perfect name for a character in a story I'm not going to write for another five years." Or I might genuinely want to waste some time--"YouTube, show me a compilation of every Doofenshmirtz Evil, Inc. jingle."
Great. Now the jingle is stuck in my head.
But whatever happens, I usually end up surfing the web for much longer than I intended to.
Just five minutes ago, before my phone alarm went off and reminded me that I was supposed to post a blog today, I was "researching" medieval laws. I had no reason to. I just wanted to find the funny ones and see if I could work them into my book somehow. (I mean, in Iceland, it is illegal to shoot a moose with a bow and arrow while skiing on private property. How can I not use that?)
I just took ten minutes to find the exact internet source of where I found that fact. See what I mean?
I know I'm not the only one who does this. How many students can say they've set off to write an essay and end up learning origami or watching YouTube cat videos? Do grown-ups do this to? (Actually, I'm not entirely sure what grown-ups write about...work emails? Reports? Boring non-fiction, I guess.) Sometimes, the only thing that keeps me writing is the knowledge that something very unpleasant is waiting for me in the outside world. Like laundry or a sink full of dishes or a pile of sheets on an unmade bed. Or, at the moment, my job...I have to leave in an hour, and I still have to eat lunch and walk my dog....
How do I get back on task, you ask? Under most situations, I come to the realization that I've spent three hours on Pinterest, feel immediate shame, and x-out of it. The ascetic part of me rears its head and tells me to buck up and do my job. And, usually, I listen to it.
But sometimes, drastic measures are needed. I'll get my phone out of sight and, therefore, out of mind. I'll disconnect my WiFi for a moment. I might need to take a break and do something physical (such as one of the chores I've been avoiding) so I can come back and focus with renewed energy.
At the moment, for example, I need to make my bed. And eat lunch. And walk my dog before I go to work.
How do you overcome writer's block? Let me know in the comments below, and don't forget to check out Where the Clouds Catch Fire on Amazon Kindle! God bless you, dear readers!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.