In #storycraft today, we were talking about Writer's Block, accountability, motivation, and what all that means. If you're curious about what was said, go look up the hashtag on Twitter. I'm not going to go into all of the wonderful dialogue we got into during the chat. It was a great chat.
One of the things I brought up is something Himself (my husband, for new blog readers) made for me. It's an accountability worksheet for my writing. *points up to the picture* Officially, it's a word count tracker. This is my August tracking sheet. Yes, I know. The 1st-4th aren't on there. I pretty much did very little writing on those days, which annoyed him. Which is why he made me my accountability tracker. This way I can see how I'm doing, how each month progresses, and how I compare to other months. He's also added a little pep talk (the 'YAY') and a reminder ('Do Better') for those days when I'm not having as good a day. It's an awesome new tool and I like it.
I had to stop and think about what writer's block is. The way I see it is there's two kinds of bad writing days - block and laziness. Laziness is not writing even though you know you should, you have an idea, but you just don't feel like sitting down and doing it. I know we all have those days where we just don't want to do it. I've had a few of those days recently.
Then there are those days where we sit down and the words don't come. Those are the days where the block comes in. I've had quite a few of those days lately too. One thing we need to remember about the block, though. It may not be because the words aren't there. It may be because the words aren't RIGHT. Whatever you're working on, if you're blocked on it, may have something that needs to be changed. It can be a red flag that what you're working on isn't flowing right because there's something missing.
Last night, Himself and I were hashing out some things regarding Aleran. He's one of the best for bouncing ideas off that I have. I was talking about how the continent of Vassa is set up and he very bluntly told me, "That's not going to work. You've effectively cut off Lytharia from the rest of the continent." Of course I was a little annoyed. I mean, I've been building this damn world for 20 years. I'm the author. It's up to me to decide how my world works, right?
Well, after looking at what he'd sketched out for me about what he understood the land looked like versus what I told him it looked like, I had to eat crow and apologize for getting annoyed with him. He was right. I had managed to screw up my geography. I suppose part of the problem was I was never a very good student of geography when I was in school.
The long and the short of it is...it's back to the drawing board AGAIN for world building, though not quite as extensively as I've been doing. I just need to tweak a few things now that I've gotten the actual world issues resolved. I also realized one of the reasons I was suffering from a major writer's block on one of my WIPs was because of the issue with the geography. I also realized that the society as I had it wasn't working and had a major breakthrough with the block on that point as well. I've changed the political structure of two of my kingdoms. This means I've got some rewriting to do, but it's worth it to finally be free of the block that's been plaguing me for a while.
I am very excited to begin my quest for MORE WORDS with my new tracker and my new perception of Vassa. Looking forward to making a lot of progress on these stories now. It'll also mean some rewrites on ONLY A NAME and CRACKED WORLD (major rewrites on CRACKED WORLD, actually) but it'll all be worth it if the world fits together even better.