I have been having a really tough time writing lately, both in my fiction writing and in my day job in public relations. I worked from home the other day in order get through a major piece of writing for work. It took me all morning to get 300 words that were okay, but I needed to crank out at least 1000 more words in order to finish a first draft. I needed to mix things up in order to find flow.
So, in the afternoon I turned off my BlackBerry (hate that thing!) and went to a local coffee shop for a caffeine pick-me-up and a little inspiration. The shop owner made me a special latte (she draws a chocolate syrup heart in the foam) and served me a piece of chocolate biscotti. This particular cafe is popular with the local art types and, as I was tapping away on my laptop, I overheard two actors talking about the TV shows they were working on, Canadian versus American contracts and whether they should move to LA. It sounds strange, but it was nice to be pulled away from my work and overhear others talking about their work (I work in health care). All of this seemed to work and I was able to get the project complete.
But I can’t say it has been this easy in my fiction writing. It’s bad. I’ve been procrastinating. I sit down to write, my mind goes blank and then I decide that the dishes need to be washed, the closet organized or the laundry done. I’m not getting any writing done, but I do have a clean house. When I do force myself to sit down and write, it doesn’t come easy. Even with a special latte.
Writing used to come so easy to me. I wrote my first stories as a teenager on a baby blue Smith Corona portable typewriter. I worried more about my fingers taking the pounding on the stiff keys than coming up with words to write. Now I have the latest MacBook Pro, a Mac keyboard that I love the feel of and a comfortable desk, but I just can’t seem to relax my mind enough to enter a writing state. This is the first time I’ve ever really had writer’s block, so I don’t know what to do to cure it. Any suggestions?