After my NaNoWriMo win, I was pretty excited. It had been a struggle to force that many words out of my brain that fast, but force them out I did. I took a short breather after I won. I didn’t write much in the following days. I tried to write again after my break, but recognized a case of writer’s block settling in.
I knew why the block was there. I knew where I wanted to go with the first part of the novel, and that’s what I wrote for NaNoWriMo. The problem was, I hadn’t really taken the time to line out what I wanted to happen in the second half of the novel. So of course I couldn’t write it.
I figured I would sit in front of my computer to write some scene notes, outline things, and hash it all out. But I couldn’t. I was stuck and stumped.
Admittedly, I wasn’t idle in those writer’s block days. I read through my current 58,062 words and revised things. I chopped, edited, and improved. But I wasn’t getting any further than the current place in the book.
So last night I pulled out the composition notebook that I’ve used for all of my novels thus far. Something about it felt comfortable. For some reason it’s easier for me to plot out my thoughts with pen and paper. This is especially so when I’m stuck.
I always seem to be able to write my way out of writer’s block with a pen in my hand, scribbling and slashing my way across a page. There’s something artistic about it, like a painter slapping paint on a canvass to create something beautiful.
Now, I’m forging my way forward in the story. I’ll keep working with my notebook until I feel ready to start writing again. Oddly enough, it will be just that: a feeling, something innate and within that will let me know when it’s time to type my notes into Scrivener and and proceed with the story I’m trying to tell.
I’ve actually learned to trust my writer’s block. It flares up when I need to do more preparation work. It’s a warning from the writer within to slow down, take my time, because something more needs to be done. I do that best with pen and paper. To my writing, a notebook and pen is like comfort food, or wrapping up in a warm blanket by a fire.
Sometime after I post this I’m going to push my keyboard back, make room on my desk, and bend over my notebook. I’ll pour myself into it. I’ll paint a picture with barely legible words. And somewhere along the way, a story will form from the mess of pen on page.