Getting ready for Nanowrimo coming up in just under a month I got to thinking about the first time I decided to try and complete the intense writing challenge. It was something I had toyed with for several years claiming I would get around to it next time knowing full well I didn't really mean it. It wasn't that I didn't want to but I was afraid that I would fail because I wouldn't actually have a story to tell. I claimed writers block for nearly a decade insisting that I would get around to writing the story as soon and the block was gone but it was me putting up my own block.
It was significantly later, eight years to be exact, after I began the story that I finally decided to push past my so called block and finish the story once and for all. I maintained my concern that I wouldn't be able to come up with enough of a story but I was determined to get to the word goal. I am fretted for years over the storyline. My father had given me special software to help build it and I just knew somehow with all my tools I would be able to finish. Then I sat down at my computer desk, opened my files and stared at a blank screen for three days.
Finally to get out of my own head I went to the gym to swim for awhile and it was there as I glided through the cool water that a small voice started speaking in my head. It wasn't Kaylie, the main character but instead my own inner writer telling me that it was ok to make mistakes. It was fine to tell my internal editor to take a month off. I would be much more successful if I stopped worrying and just let the words flow naturally. That voice told me to put away all of my fancy tools, forget about my research and shut down the time lines and storyboards. I would never find my characters where I thought they should be. They would find me when I was ready.
That evening when I got home I put on some music I used to dance to when I did ballet. I danced around my room and let the emotion of the rhythm wash over me. There, hidden among the chords I found her. I sat down at my computer and I began to write. I didn't look at word counts or concern myself with typos or grammar. I wrote. It was pure and it abolished my belief in the "writer's block". I have been free of it ever since. And so it is my advice that if you are struggling all you need to do is step away. Give your story some space and focus on finding you again so that when they are ready your characters are able to reach the real you.