The Best Time to Write
How do you fight writer’s block? By going away and coming back later? By sitting there with a towel over your head till inspiration comes?
Writing is like golf. It can be exhilarating one day, infuriating the next. What works for one writer can be a total disaster for another. I’ve always found that the best answer to writer’s block is to sleep on it. Problems that cause my brain to seize up at night often seem like no problems at all in the morning. The trick is to be able to clear your mind before you try to doze off. If you take your writer’s block to bed with you and mull it over under the duvet, you’ll be like a zombie next day and your block will be even more fearsome.
In writing The Girl with the Haunting Smile, I have never set out to scribble a pre-determined number of words per day or to work a set number of hours. It seems to me that you should know when it’s time to stop i.e. when the flow has slowed down or dried up. If you stay hunched over your laptop after that, the odds are that the push for quantity will cause quality to suffer.
I’ve reached the end now (91,000 words later) and the polishing is in full swing. My online publisher is calling for the final version, so I can’t afford too many writer’s blocks at this late stage. Onwards and (I hope) upwards!