Slogging along on a manuscript or other piece of writing? Taking longer to finish than you expected? Exhausted trying to complete that description, paragraph, sentence, scene, dialogue, or other story element? Mr. Leonard just might have been on to something when it comes to writing.
Elmore Leonard (October 11th, 1925 – August 20th, 2013) was a novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter. His earliest novels were westerns but he didn’t limit his work to that genre. Among his best-known works are “Get Shorty,” “Out of Sight,” “Hombre,” “Mr. Majestyk,” “Rum Punch” (adapted as the film “Jackie Brown”), and short stories that became the films “3:10 to Yuma” and “The Tall T,” as well as the FX television series, “Justified.”
It has been an unusually mild, wet summer around my neck of the woods (as they say here in Arkansas). Few 90 degree + days and (thankfully) no 100 degree + days. In other words, when it wasn’t raining, we’ve had beautiful days to enjoy. No wonder I’m doing more bicycle riding than writing. But I do remember those blistering summer days when it was so hot all I could do is kick back and enjoy lounging in the pool.
What’s the matter, writer? That blank page in front of you got you down?
You say your bucket of creative motivation is empty? You fear the procrastination monster has come to stay? And the writer’s block is too big to overcome so you’re waiting for the magic writing fairy to land on your shoulder and deliver perfect pages of prose, sublime sonnets, or perhaps inspirational ideas?
Well, get over it. It isn’t going to happen.
Here’s a newsflash: Your dreamy muse is busy elsewhere with a happy rainbow unicorn in a field of delicious, colorful jelly beans under a marshmallow sky and not likely to return anytime soon.
In the meantime, here’s a word of advice, a solution to your problem: write.
On The Lake Fayetteville Trail. Blackberry in full bloom.
Into rewrite of Chapter 26 of my wip titled “The Corpsemakers” since very early morning. Hit an idea block on one of the sub-plots and a pesky antagonist acting out of character, dialogue stilted, not convincing. Hard to believe characters won’t play nice with your well-plotted scenario, huh? What’s a writer to do? Answer: Keep working on it!
By nine thirty, I was ready for a break.
Clear blue skies, no rain, no wind. A big change from the rains experienced recently. Time for a another bike run around Fayetteville to clear the cobwebs and get the ideas flowing. Hit Fayetteville’s wonderful bike trails, headed out around Lake Fayetteville and parts beyond.
Back home now after logging just over 18 miles and feeling refreshed.
Enjoying a quick meal of fish, cucumbers, and tomatoes before jumping back into writing.
Now, where did I leave that pesky, uncooperative character?
Many things contribute to writers breaking through the psychological wall referred to as writer’s block. Here’s one humorous illustration just for laughs.