The dreaded writer’s block. You either can’t figure out what to say or how to say it. It is particularly defeating when it occurs before you even get started. My worst writer’s block always comes at the beginning of a project.
I’ve come up with what I feel is a brilliant idea for a story: A teenage girl, a ballerina with a bright and successful future, is paralyzed in a car accident and now has to face the reality of a life not doing the only thing she’s ever imagined. Okay! Let’s get started, right?
How is this car accident going to happen? What kind of injury can she sustain that would permanently paralyze her from the waist down, but not be life threatening?
This is one of my biggest problems (and one from which I’m currently suffering): Getting bogged down in the details. It’s so hard to write an accurate and believable story without the needed lingo, jargon, and knowledge. I’ve said before that research can be daunting, and require a lot of extra work on the part of the writer that might not be necessary if one chose a storyline based on things about which one already has all the needed knowledge. But truth be told; we don’t have all the knowledge in the world. My first MS was based on my personal experience, and I still had to do some research, because I was the basis for only one of the characters. I needed to know what the doctors would know; what the social worker would know. So I had to go find out.
Unfortunately, if you’re like me, a problem like this can arise before a word is even written, and you find yourself years from now saying, “I have a great idea for a novel. I just don’t know how to get started.” Speaking from experience, I can say, don’t let that stop you. However, cliche you may think your story is, however challenging the research may be, however doubtful you are in your writing abilities, none of that can be tested if you never write. I assure you, it has taken a lot of self-talk, but I finally just started writing and decided I could get the information I need along the way. Do the same. Just write.