Posted by: victanguera | September 28, 2009

Writer’s Frustration

I can’t get past this one section in my WIP. I’ve re-written the beginning about nine times now (and it needs fixing again because of another thing I changed in the middle). My head hurts. Quite literally. Every time I try to write something (writing prompts, WIP, grocery list) my brain feels like it could explode. I’ve read a couple books in the last week. I’ve hung out with friends. I’ve picked paint off my 1912 window frames with an exacto knife.

But what I haven’t done is write. What do you guys do when you are so frustrated with a project? Give it up? Push past the block? Put it all aside and start something fresh?

I read a post on on moonrat’s blog about the editorial process on a book. I’m at the Sept 7-21 stage where I’ve worked on the damn thing so much, I can’t remember what I said, when or where I said it. Or if it now resides in the cut file along with 30,000 other useless words.

Oh well, off to make my head explode. Maybe for real. Wonder if that will start the zombie apocalypse.



  1. A fellow writer told me that if I have writer’s block, which I get often, to write about the reasons why I have writer’s block and sometimes something comes out of that or gives you insight into what your next move should be in your project.

    • Hum, I wrote that last post about writer’s frustration and it did spark a few ideas for the scene I should be working on. Now off to write (about writer’s block, if nothing else).

  2. What has worked for me, for one thing, is to avoid re-writing at first. If something in the middle changes the beginning, I just make a note and move on. I’ll make fixes later.

    I know when I used to (and still occasionally) get caught up in the “I need to go back and fix A now because of B. And now because of C, I need to fix B, and darn it, that means another change to A…” cycle, I burned out on projects SO much faster. It’s apparent in retrospect, for me at least, that re-working the same material over and over took the thrill out and felt like I wasn’t making progress, so the subconscious would kick in and say “Dude, you’re getting nowhere – time to bail!”.

    I’d get the same problem when I would get caught up outlining and planning and structuring far past the point that it was useful. My brain would just get bored and stop being helpful.

    Dunno if that helps at all, but good luck either way!

    • That technique worked very well for me when I wrote this originally. Now, I’m trying to do revisions want to fix things so everything does work. I made a promise to a crit partner that we wouldn’t go back and re-write the beginning until we’d made it all the way through this round of revisions. Then I had a major break through, but that changes where the main character is at the beginning.

      I made a small amount of progress yesterday. Sigh. Document open. Ass in chair. And coffee.

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