Some days, I get into a state of writer’s paralysis. (Not writer’s block. That’s when you can’t come up with any ideas to save your life; or at least, that’s how I make the distinction.) It’s when you have too many ideas and too many situations you could write about in your current story, so you get paralyzed just thinking about how to organize them all. That happened to me again yesterday and it’s been happening on and off for the past couple of weeks.
I’m currently rewriting a series and in that series, there’s a lot to keep track of: characters, objects, loose ends from the previous books… so at the end of revising one book and at the beginning of revising another, all of these different story elements come into my head at once and paralyze me. I feel like, when I start writing, I’m going to forget something important and have to start all over again from scratch. I end up staring at the computer screen, then at my notes, then at the computer screen, my heart pounding wildly with excitement, but my fingers paralyzed on the keyboard.
What usually kicks me out of my paralyzed state is one very awesome idea that I can use to start off the next story in the series. As I’m sitting in my chair, my brain churning frantically in an effort to break free from its paralysis, a good idea sometimes pops up and I write it down. From there, I can usually get everything back on track. It happened yesterday. I outlined 12 chapters in a mad, excited rush.
The point of this post is to illustrate that writer’s block and writer’s paralysis are temporary things and that yes, you can get through them, even though sometimes it seems like you’re just staring into space twiddling the pen in your hand.