I don’t believe in writer’s block. I don’t believe that there’s this mystical force that keeps one from writing something that they desperately want to write. I definitely do not believe that one’s abilities are at the whims of a capricious muse, who gives with one hand and takes away with the other. Certainly, there are times where the creative well has run dry, and days where real life intrudes mentally even when one is at peace physically, but these are concrete, specific problems.
That said, there are times where I experience definite writer’s block-ish symptoms, and one of those times is right now. I’m close – so close – to being done with my revision of Part III, which would place me well over halfway done with this revision phase. And yet I’m totally blocked on the last three or four scenes, and in this case I know that the blockage is my inner editor telling me, “This really isn’t very believable.”
Unfortunately, this is the second half of a major plot arc, and the first half is already written. That means I’m at a dilemma: do I discard what I already have down on paper and re-write the scene from beginning to end, or do I force myself through and then revise it to be more interesting and believable in a later phase? Of course, I don’t even know if it can be made interesting and believable later, which certainly doesn’t help my decision-making process much.
What makes this situation worse is that, despite my efforts to just chill out and write for myself first, I’m a feeling a little self-imposed pressure. I know that I’m writing for publication here, and I’m trying to be as professional as possible, which adds an entirely new layer of difficulty to an already difficult task. My guess is that everyone feels this way when they’re starting out, and that the occasional twinges of utter despair in my abilities is something that pretty much everyone goes through. It usually doesn’t affect me too much, but it tends to crowd its way to the forefront when I have other problems writing.
Well, I’m not about to let that get the best of me. Here’s what I”m going to do: I’m just going to skip ahead to Part IV. I know where I want that part to begin, and I’ve got some exciting stuff planned. Part III is much better now than it was in the first draft, but it’s still lacking a little something; a little extra time to ferment might be good for it. It’ll also mean I won’t be quite as close to those scenes that I have a niggling feeling I’ll need to cut, and it’ll mean I’m still making forward process, which is what writing is entirely about.