Dodging the Block

“Writer’s block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol.” Steve Martin noted in his irreverent Writing is Easy.  A prominent YA agent that I met at the TMCC Writers Conference also denied the existence of writer’s block.  In her opinion, if you are stymied by a story, maybe it is not the story you should be writing.

I believe writer’s block is real, but just because the muse hasn’t returned your calls lately doesn’t mean she dumped you.  Like many fickle personalities, she’ll be drawn to you once you have shifted your attention. It never fails, as soon as I close my laptop and start laundry or another mundane chore, fresh scenes and dialogue suddenly spring to mind.

Martin wrote, “Writing is Easy” during a three-year hiatus from acting which resulted in a book of essays, several sketches and two screenplays.  In his acknowledgement page, he explains “I suppose what I’m saying is if you really want to work, stop working.” Sometimes writers need to be reminded to focus more on the joy of the creative process, less on deadlines and the bottom line.

How do you woo your creative spirit?