As much as I love to dig into archives (online or brick and mortar) and absorb as much information my brain can process, sometimes all those bits of history, trivia, and data can simply be too much and that’s when I reach the point of overload and sometimes that leads me to the dreaded writer’s block .
Some writers like Aspiring Author think writer’s block is a myth. Alexis does add a caveat and writes that perhaps it does exist for fiction writers, and I can attest that it often happens to me. Sometimes all that information becomes too overwhelming and then WHAM you hit the brick wall and you can’t produce anything.
The comments on Alexis’ post were mixed, but I think Poprice said it best:
Yes, I think it exists… but it’s more like a stage or a sign that I haven’t processed everything fully OR have insufficient information/research. For me, it’s often a sign that I need to step back and do inventory, make sure I’m ready. And that’s what housecleaning works so well… nothing to do but clean and think
What happens when my brain is flashing CAN’T PROCESS, CAN’T PROCESS repeatedly? I develop a block that can last a few days, weeks, or even months. It’s a horrible feeling because I have all the material at my fingertips, but I have no idea of how I might want to incorporate it into my story. So I sit and stew about it and then suddenly this mental fog burns off and I’m inspired to write several chapters in one week. It’s as if my brain took a step back, filed all the information in all the appropriate folders and drawers, took a deep breath, and then said, “Okay, this is what I can add or change and turn the scene into a stronger one.”
Maybe this information overload or writer’s block should be called writer’s breather instead. It might take a short or long time to gather your thoughts, mull them over a bit, let the imagination fool around with all the information and then, voila, inspiration and you’re ready to write again.
And so, on that note, it’s time to rewrite a section in Julius….