So normally Carrie writes the podcast part of the podcast and this week she had no idea what to write. Should she write about Covid-19 and try to help people with things to do during their lock downs and times of social distancing? Should she totally ignore that and we go the other route with a happy, fun, dorky and totally non-informative episode? Should she cry?
It turns out that Carrie was thinking too much and giving herself writer’s block. Writer’s block is something Carrie never gets. So, she had to overcome it, right?
Back in 2016, Maria Konnikova wrote “How to Beat Writer’s Block” for the New Yorker, which touches on the research into writer’s block and it’s pretty interesting.
And way back in the 1950s, a man named Bergler wrote “Does Writer’s Block Exist?,” which was published in American Imago. Bergler said a writer “unconsciously tries to solve his inner problems via the sublimatory medium of writing.” A writer wasn’t lazy or bored. They hadn’t used up their muse and ideas. They just needed therapy. Later psychiatrists learned through studies that most writers blocked for three months or more were indeed unhappy. Was this correlative and how did the causation factors work?
I (Carrie) just was teaching an online class to some writers and admitted that I don’t daydream anymore, which is a big deal for me because I used to daydream all the time. A lack of daydreaming is a symptom of a writer who is blocked.
So work on creatively visualizing different things in your book and your life. Imagine what your character eats, what’s happening at the grocery story right now, the best kiss ever. Reawaken your creativity in ways that don’t involve judgement – yours or anyone else’s.
Turn the wi-fi back on and look up some creative visualizations for authors. Check out the steps we mentioned earlier. You’ve got this.
Go with the flow, man.
Imagine your main character is in a Nashville bar the night before the world ends. What music is playing? What does it smell like? How is your character reacting?
Over 170,000 people have downloaded episodes of our podcast, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, you should join them. There will be a new episode tomorrow!
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
Rosie Jones, small town reporter and single mom, is looking forward to her first quiet Maine winter with her young daughter, Lily. After a disastrous first marriage, she’s made a whole new life and new identities for her and her little girl. Rosie is more than ready for a winter of cookies, sledding, stories about planning board meetings, and trying not to fall in like with the local police sergeant, Seamus Kelley.
But after her car is tampered with and crashes into Sgt. Kelley’s cruiser during a blizzard, her quiet new world spirals out of control and back into the danger she thought she’d left behind. One of her new friends is murdered. She herself has been poisoned and she finds a list of anagrams on her dead friend’s floor.
As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the women of Bar Harbor aren’t safe. Despite the blizzard and her struggle to keep her new identity a secret, Rosie sets out to make sure no more women die. With the help of the handsome but injured Sgt. Kelley and the town’s firefighters, it’s up to Rosie to stop the murderer before he strikes again.
You can order it here.
My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!
It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.
Someone just told me (Carrie) that we weren't really having a wedding anniversary because: We are celebrating it a few days late. We both forgot about it until the Thursday before the Sunday of the anniversary. Apparently, we didn't talk about it on Facebook. Gasp! Who knew those were the criteria to keep your anniversary legit? Here's our bonus podcast about it. Spoiler Alert: This is not a poignant bonus podcast. ...
Once, one of our kiddos had two soccer coaches. And one time at the game, her jv coach yelled at her. She cried the entire way home. She refused to cry on the bench because she's stoic like that. Carrie talked to the varsity coach the next morning and he said, "Yeah. I had to do damage control on four or five players after that game. He had them all crying." It is hard for us to handle my kid crying about soccer. One because in the big scheme of things it's not important. But also, having someone yell at you is like having them give you a wedgie. It's embarrassing, you feel the opposite of awesome and it can hurt. That's the thing reality hurts. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who wrote, FINDING FLOW, says, "To achieve excellence, we must first understand the reality of the everyday, with all its demands and potential frustrations." Crying because of soccer coaches counts as the reality of the everyday moments. So does not putting the filter in the coffee maker right so that eight cups of water and coffee grinds spill all over the counter and the floor. So does getting a wedgie or trolled on Facebook by your Great Aunt Mary's best friend who thinks wearing masks is a conspiracy sent by aliens from the planet GoodSpa. So does realizing your WIP is in need of serious help. Part of improvisational comedy and improvisational life is ...
In the random thoughts part of the podcast we talk about Big Foot, wedgies and how you can tell when predators are looking at you. THREE BIG STEPS TO LEARN HOW TO WRITE GOOD STUFF There’s a lot of people out there who say that if you write every day you’ll become a better writer and that’s true … sort of. You also need the basics. If you write every day, but you don’t learn about writing every day then you don’t get to improve. You just write. And that’s not good enough. Learning how to write has to do with a few things. And the first step is to know what you want to write. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU’RE INTO Writing an epic fantasy isn’t the same as writing ad copy and that’s not the same as writing poetry. Pick something. It doesn’t have to be your only style, but pick one way first. LEARN THE TOOLS Now here’s the fun part. The learning. How do you learn how to write? Enroll in courses.Read things like what you want to write.Watch blogs, listen to podcasts, and read books about craft.Talk to other writers who do what you do. They might have cool resources too.Hire a writing coach or editor who loves helping people and not just loves making money. GO FOR THE GRAMMAR Yeah. Yeah. We know. Periods aren’t sexy. Most people don’t get turned on by scene structure, but you should! If your story is awesome, but there is no punctuation or grammar or even sentences? You’re not going to be understandable to your potential readers. They are just going to stop reading. Places to Check Get Your Sexy Grammar On Grammar GirlMerriam Webster DictionaryStrunk and White’s, ...