Yes. It’s a thing. Writer’s block. But it’s not really a block where everything stops. The author knows the story. It’s there, inside their head and inside their heart. But, sometimes, when we type, an icy death ray freezes our fingers from moving, and our mind goes blank—writer’s block.
A friend told me that it isn’t writer’s ‘block’ per se but a writer’s pause. I love the term “writer’s pause” because I know the story. I know where it’s going. I know the ending usually before the beginning, but there is a pause where my fingers are frozen. It happens, for me, many times, just before a violent scene.
And, I’m there, stuck, with a deadline looming in just a few weeks.
What to do about it? Usually, I go back through the novel and edit and tweak. Caffeine overload also helps. Sometimes working on other creative projects and cooking help too. I need to do something to pull the rest of this story to the forefront of my brain to activate my fingers into fast and furious typing. And very sneakily, other stories are doing their best to distract me with a line from one and a paragraph from another, teasing and haunting my brain. Sometimes it’s difficult to focus.
What are the next steps? I beg my characters, “Come back!” I need to write the next sentence, the next paragraph, and the next chapter. I need to bring closure to the characters and the story. “Writer’s pause” needs to rename itself to “writer’s persistence” to bring the story back to life.