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Insights In Writing: Writers Block/First Novel

Updated on May 11, 2010
Take your dreams...
Take your dreams...
Dig a little deeper...
Dig a little deeper...
and then just write.
and then just write.

Now I don’t have much professional experience in the matter, but I do have some general experience.   I find one of the best attributes a writer can have is to be able to write all the time.  To be sick, hungry, tired, sore, or be anywhere on the planet, and still be able to write.  The hand touches the keyboard, or the pen gently rests on the paper, and the words flow easily out.  

At an early age I found the power writing has, the easy way it is to express oneself on paper or digital screen compared to the verbal form heard throughout the world.  And since then, I’ve always been able to write.  Not well sometimes, I’ll admit, but write none the less.  It’s a powerful asset to have, something that is intangible and very rewarding.

Let’s all face it - writers block sucks.  The feeling of wanting to write, to really want to, and to have some sort of mental road block stopping you.   It’s terrible, humiliating, and very frustrating.   And how, you ask, do you break through such a solid and seemingly unmoving road block?  You write.  You use the most powerful weapon you have, your hand and your pen, and you write.  You write whatever: a list of top ten places you want to visit, a quick summary of the day, a dream you sort of remember from the night before.   Before long you’ll forget you ever had that road block stopping you; before long you’ll be writing the golden masterpiece you always knew you could write.

I’d like to take this a little farther and discuss the problems many of us face when wanting to write a novel.  It’s every writers dream to be able to write the next great novel, the one that one will become a best seller, a classic.  The dream is also every writer’s greatest nemesis.  We never are able to get over that first hump and write the first paragraph of our first novel.   We have all these great awe inspiring ideas – perhaps a few complex characters already created – but we can never put thought into fiction.  For me, the problem I always had, was that I thought that if I put my great ideas into word it may ruin them; I liked what I envisioned in my mind, and didn’t want to break that tapestry.

I doubt I even have to ask what you think the way is to get over this hump.  You probably already guessed it.  You just have to write.  Write that first paragraph, then that first page, then that first chapter.  Writing is a biological process; your words will morph over time, and your ideas will expand with each created page.  The more you write, the more you will dream, and the greater your story will become.  Before long that masterpiece you saw in your mind before will seem even greater, even more breathtaking.

            When I wrote my first novel, I started with no general idea or outline at all.  I just, out of the blue, created a character, and then wrote from there.  It’s amazing how the story evolved before my eyes.  It was a biological entity – always changing and evolving with new characters and more detailed plot.   At times I didn’t even know what the next chapter would bring.  You’ll have a few revelations in the process, and before long you’ll know what kind of road you’re paving for the entire trip.   But it starts with just writing, whether you have an idea in mind or none at all.

                What’s my biggest point from all this?   Start writing right now.  If you have a dream of writing a novel and becoming an author, start your first book right now.   It doesn’t matter if you don’t have idea – that will come as you write.   Not to sound cliché, but a famous hockey player once said:  “You’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

            For our purposes it should say:   “You’ll never write a novel if you never write a single sentence.”

            Like taking shots in hockey, you just have to write.  Eventually you’ll score a few goals; eventually you’ll write that great novel; eventually you will become a successful writer.



To hone your skills, try out the freelance market.


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    • htodd profile image

      htodd 6 years ago from United States

      Great post...Thanks

    • sugz profile image

      sugz 7 years ago from Quakeville... Christchurch, New Zealand

      :) you're welcome

      i have jsut thrown the hub together in brief outlining what it is about, but not the info yet. i've always thought that writers block is just a silly excuse, and i will try to prove it. ... the next time YOU get a block, i'd like you to write down all the things that are going on at that time.. i guarantee, you it is not a writers block :)

    • vanchen profile image

      vanchen 7 years ago from British Columbia

      @Lizzy: Thanks for the little anecdote! You left that 3 months ago... can't believe I didn't catch that.

      @Sugz: Thanks for the comment. And look forward to that new hub of yours... if you can prove it doesn't exist, well, it will shake the foundation of the world of writing!

    • sugz profile image

      sugz 7 years ago from Quakeville... Christchurch, New Zealand

      Hey, great hub, I like your writings, they are very interesting and informative :)

      Your first novel sounds like the way all of mine have been written lol

      Even though I enjoyed reading your hub here, I am one to challenge the writer’s block.. as I do not believe it exists.. yes there are many times I can’t write squat, but I have never had what was named for reasons people do not logically understand - writers block.

      For many years I have asked people why they can't write when they are trying so hard to.. there is a multitude of reasons and it is not, writers block ;)

      I am in the beginnings of a hub to challenge this excuse for not being able to write, I will 'try' to prove it simply does not exist. and explain why...

      As I have so many projects on the go at once, your hub has inspired me to give myself this challenge or proving WB does not exist and how people who think they have it will actually never have it again. :)

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 7 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Good advice for all! I'd like to add, since I'm coming off a VERY long period of writer's block myself...(my currently published poems are all old ones).

      My mom and I both wrote poetry, in different styles, and who knows what oddball incident would trigger a poem. Not always a great poem, but we were writing, nonetheless. We called each other on the phone to share our 'latest masterpiece.' For me, when she passed away, it felt as though my Muse had died with her. No one else in the family was remotely interested in poetry. I've written nothing new in 10 years!

      However, I've made a very gratifying and somewhat exciting discovery: I find as I'm COPYING my poems into my hub pages, just the process of writing any poems at all, even though I'm copying old ones, is beginning to stir the creative juices again.

      So, I'd add...if you're caught in writer's block--write ANYTHNG...even if you can't be original, copy something onto paper--from a favorite author or poet, or something you wrote years back. Just the act of making that physical connection between mind and hands works wonders...better than just reading alone. It gets the kinetics working, and puts your whole being into the process!

      Best wishes!

    • Youngcurves19 profile image

      Youngcurves19 7 years ago from Hawaii

      GREAT pics thanks for the hub