Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block. Writer’s
Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block.
Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block.
Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block.
Writer’s Block. Writer’s Block.
Ever felt like you were not just stuck in a corner but banging your head on a brick wall decorated with jagged glass jutting out everywhere? Or maybe your version is standing in front of a firing squad – every rifle held by a critique partner, an editor, an agent, a reader… ready to pull the trigger if you don’t start writing! Wouldn’t it be nice if we could back ourselves OUT of that corner? Turn away from that fearsome cadre of bullets with our name on them? But how?
Ask that question of twenty authors and get an easy hundred answers back on how to break up writer’s block. Take a walk. Write a poem. Write the end and go backwards. Drink hot tea. Drink cold whiskey. Take a bath. Take a nap. But what about draw a Tarot card?
Well this IS a blog about Tarot so of course I’d go there. In my personal writer’s toolbox, a deck of 78 cards is not a luxury—it’s a necessity. I use the cards to plan out my character arc—to see what might happen next—to jog my brain into action.
Now y’all know (or those who read me regularly should know) that I like to design spreads. But sometimes, I’m so utterly STOPPED that I can’t even think to name the positions. When that happens, what do I do?
After stomping my feet, pouting, swearing, pulling my hair, crying, eating ice cream, eating chocolate, walking the dog, cleaning the cat box and any other avoidance I can think of, I sit down and focus on one part of my story. Is it my hero giving me fits? Is it the heroine? Perhaps my villain has decided to rescue kittens and give generously to charities instead of maiming and killing like a good villain. Or maybe I need to figure out where to go next.
I once heard a romantic suspense author call this the moment where “something needs to go boom.” In other words, she had to blow up someone or something in order to get the story moving again.
So you are at that point. Someone needs to die, get blown up or have sex. Something has to happen. Let’s grab a deck of cards and see what happens?
Shuffle the cards while you really focus on that one point in the story. Try to be laser intense on this one. Any stray thoughts enter your perimeter – shoot them down. Trust me, they’ll come back. When you feel ready (or you are just done with shuffling), cut the cards three times. Lay down the top card.
DO NOT READ THE LITTLE WHITE BOOK (LWB)!!!!!
Ok, just look at the card. Find one thing that makes you think of your story. What’s next to that thing? What does that image make you think of? How would that move your story?
Start writing that next scene.
Yes, I know. I make this sound oh so simple. I will remind you that if you are not writing, you are wasting time worrying about being blocked. Every minute you worry about being blocked can be equated to another brick in that wall—complete with jagged jutting glass.
Even if you start writing with “Arwen is an idiot. This will never work. There is no way that bunny rabbit next to that knight has anything to do with my story. I mean my story is about a cyberdroid on a spaceship to Fartsalot Nebula 9. There’s no rabbit. Well he does call that one girl Bunny because she twitches her nose. But.. hey… maybe SHE’S the heroine and not the princess in the cargo hold… “
Just write. And if that symbol doesn’t resonate, move to the next one. The key here is to start typing or writing and keep those fingers moving.
And if you don’t have a deck, here are some images to play with. 🙂 What stories do you see in these cards? What are the characters doing? Why are they there? Who sent them? What is their purpose in life? Who needs to die? What needs to be blown up? Who needs to have sex?
Let your imagination run wild! And just write!