The End is Nigh – my personal (inevitable) writing roadblock

Here's the deal. I don't really subscribe to the idea of "Writer's Block", at least not in the traditional sense. For the most part, I think it's a convenient excuse that allows authors to feel like they're writing even when they, literally, are not.

If you're going to write for a living, then you either have to admit that Writer's Block is a lie or find a reliable way to slay it.

Having said that, I recognize when the words aren't coming and that it's my job to work out how to find them again.

Broken Screen

Writing is fun. It's also hard. Everybody thinks they can do it, yet few do it well. I doubt I have to tell you how frustrating it is to hear someone who couldn't write their way out of paper bag tell me about their dreams of penning a memoir, and I am way past the smile and nod stage of my life.


Personally, it's the joy of discovery that that keeps me plugging away at a novel. It isn't only my characters who are finding their way in the world, and I get the same visceral thrill of learning (and exploiting) the rules that they do.

But there's a problem with that sort of motivation. When I'm around 80% of the way through, I can see the end with enough clarity to know that the discoveries are done. If I'm not very careful to keep my head down and keep the keyboard jamming, being this near to the conclusion saps much of the fun from the process. The learning is over and it's time to apply the lessons learned, not to mention gather the threads and bring them all to a satisfying conclusion.

Endings are a necessary evil, but creating one that keeps me guessing AND delivers an emotional resonance is a challenge.

So, in my current novel, that's where I am (and why I'm blogging instead of finishing it, most likely). The end is nigh, and if my initial enthusiasm wavers (as it has) the only way I can take a run at it is to give myself a couple of days to breathe. After a pause, the characters want to reach the finale badly enough that they wrestle me back to the text and make it happen.

I guess what I'm saying is that Writer's Block is BS, except when it isn't. Real or not, understanding WHY it's happening is just as important as finding a reliable strategy for pushing through.

Okay, enough screwing around. Time to finish this book…

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