The “myth” of writer’s block…

I never used to believe in “writer’s block.” Part of me still doesn’t want to think it exists, that its something we writers have to power through. There have been times in the past where a story has been difficult for me, where I didn’t know what happened next. I rarely had a deadline or readers waiting, it was just me and the characters trying to figure out what adventure they’d find next. I could take as much time as I wanted to figure it out, and invariably I did.

I’ve always written. My mother still has “books” I made from preschool about dinosaurs and horses and other fun stuff. Being able to make up stories, bring to life interesting characters and situations, was something I loved, something I wanted to do for a living. Several months ago, I was finally able to get that dream, quitting my day job to focus solely on my craft. I thought it would be smooth sailing from here on out, doing something I loved so much.

The last month has shown me otherwise.

Many of you have reached out wondering where I am, what I’m doing, what the status is on various projects. I skipped a Snippet Saturday this week with no explanation, which is unfair to you all. The truth is, whether you want to call it writer’s block or burnout or whatever other name applies, I’ve had a heck of a time writing ANYTHING for the last month.

There. I said it. I can’t write.

It’s a vicious cycle. My brain is shouting at me to write, that I can’t let the readers down or miss my commitments. When I freeze up, the guilt builds into this hard lump in my chest that makes it hard to breathe. Eventually, the very thought of writing ANYTHING, a blog post or tweet or Facebook reply, gives the same result. I mean, if I can write those, then why aren’t I writing something ELSE right? Like that story I have due out, oh, yesterday.

It’s debilitating, and has brought me to a complete standstill over the last month.

My writer friends call it burnout, and apparently it’s common among authors. At times, it almost feels like a panic attack: I think of opening the file on my computer and my chest tightens, breathing gets hard, and my hands shake. No joke, although I wish it was. A lot of folks have noticed the progress bar hasn’t moved much; initially this was because I goofed on a major plot hole and required some time/help to figure it out. The Dude was invaluable here (he gets that James Bond, action-movie kinda thing), but once I got that situated… *sigh*

So here’s me coming clean and apologizing to all of you waiting for the latest AHW installment. This month has been hectic and filled with other things, such as the Romantic Times Readers Convention (which I still need to write up), celebrating the Dude’s birthday (love you, Dorkface), and most recently a camping/riding trip of awesome. I’ve been trying to cram as much life as I can into a short space in order to get past this problem – do a bunch of stuff that is not writing so when I return its not as hard. Several friends have given me exercises to do that helped them punch through this wall and that’s what I’m going to start today.

But I wanted to say I’m so sorry for the delay and hate that I’ve let you guys down.:-/

51 thoughts on “The “myth” of writer’s block…

  1. Ok, the cool thing about readers, we will always be here whenever the story is ready. Yes, can we be pains when we have to wait but waiting is necessary sometimes. You do what you need to do and the words will begin to flow when ready … just know we will still be here ready to enjoy what you create when it’s ready to be shared. Thank you for your honesty and be open to all of us.

  2. You never let us down. We all have times when we can not do What we feel we should. We Love yourbook and you through them. With every up and down. An author and there fans are like marriage vows. For verter or worse. Tale a break and wow us as usual.

  3. Dearest Sara,
    As you already know, I’m a huge fan of your work, so much so that I, like all of your other fans, will continue waiting until you say it’s ready, no matter what.
    I have the upmost respect for you for being able to put this out there and here’s me sending you good vibes *wiggles fingers* *slides a cookie and a cup of milk across the table to you*

    XXOO!

    Zoey D.

  4. Não esquenta a cabela. Você sempre será maravilhosa, essa situação vai passar rapidinho. Grande Beijo.

  5. Oh my gosh! You ARE a human after all! Welcome to our humble world where things do not get done when they are suppose to and those words have to be uttered “I am not perfect”.

    Sarcasm aside, as a fan you have nothing to apologize for. The rate with which you share wonderful, thought provoking, and surprise around the corner stories is amazing and there will be times when life gets in the way or you simply have to slow down. Please do not beat yourself up on our account.

    Life is to led and you should take time out for your partner’s b-day and enjoy the fruits of all your hard work with conventions and getting to meet the writers you have enjoyed for so long. And, of course, road trips!!! Those are the things that recharge you and give you inspiration and new ideas where your stories can go next. Would I like a new book to read every week? Yes! Would I like to eat ice cream everyday and not have to exercise or worry about the side effects? Yes! But alas, it cannot be so…special things are special because you cannot have then all the time. And you Sara, have special stories I am happy and delighted to read and understand that good things come to those who wait.

    Please relax, enjoy the good things that come your way and I will promise I will wait and be oh so happy to read your next book when it and you are ready.

  6. Don’t worry about us. The writing will happen. It sounds like its been with you always. Take time to relax and take care of yourself. The rest will come. When I have panic attacks its usually because I’ve overloaded myself. Take one thing at a time instead of looking at the whole picture.

    Thanks for the great stories you’ve already given to us.

    A Big Fan, Michelle McGhee

    Sent from my iPad

  7. We love the stories ….. And will wait for you . You enjoy life and family and friends. That may help burnout. Just. BE HAPPY. We will be here when your ready. 🙂

  8. While I am certainly excited about the next installment of AHW… I do understand. You are awesome. Take some time to refresh and enjoy life. The writers block has to pass…. your talent is a gift and we absolutely adore you!

  9. thinking and praying for you! you and your family have a lot to deal with to, dealing with your house issues, and just general everyday life, it gets really hard sometimes, I to have panic attacks, some R&R sounds great! remember we are your loyal readers, and realize you have a life to live to, and sometimes life gets really rough, you need to take care of yourself to, and trust me, we will all be hear waiting for that next book, can’t wait to finish this series, love the Jeremiah and Lucy story, so take your time. it’s worth waiting for.

  10. Great things take time, if a small break is what you need then take the time. As a fan of course I am anxiously awaiting for the next book but if your mind isn’t 100% in it then it’s normal to want to take a breather and pause for bit to be able to collect yourself. You will get thru this small bump on the road and I’m sure that when you decide that your ready to write again it will be great. Your heart has to be in it to create ART because yes writing a story is ART. As a fan I will continue to wait with the knowledge that this next installment will be more then great when you finish it. One small request continue to keep us your fans updated we appreciate a little bit of news from our favorite writer. I find that re-reading your own stories might at times trigger that spark to continue to create. We love you Sara don’t get discouraged.

  11. We’re already spoiled by not having to wait a whole year or longer! You manage to create a detailed thrilling story in a short amount of time. We’re proud of you and love your story. What you write is what will keep your readers, not how quickly you can do it. Take all the the time you want, just keep writing such great exciting books!

  12. You haven’t let us down although I’m expecting the new book, which by far it will be a great one! Do you have any other books that is like AHW?

  13. Oh Miss Sara it will come and when it does, ‘Katie bar the doors’ it will flow out of your fingers like nobodies business. Hang in there and know that we are pulling for you!!!

  14. Go relax, have a spa day or 2 or 3!! Have a glass of wine or a couple of bottles or cases:) It will happen when it’s suppose to happen!!! We will be here!!!!

  15. Don’t worry about it. You’ll write again when the time is right. You’re not letting us down. Relax go to the spa(my favorite thing to do!). once you stop pressuring yourself, the words will come.

  16. It’s ok Sara I understand. Even tho it’s killing me to wait. I’d rather u take ur time and do a good job. So good luck and I hope to read the next book soon. 🙂

  17. I think this kinda situation happends to a lot of us in life, even if we’re not writers. Just know that we all support u and will always b fans of ur awsome work, even if we hv to wait a while for it. I believe everything happends for a reason. & this just might b ur time to take it easy. Don’t stress, pamper urself, have a glass a wine… or two. ::cheers::..Then get back on the wagon whn ur good & ready😉 much luv as always❤ Jess

  18. Come over here for a hug and a butt slap. You poor thing. Ok, deep breath.

    Here’s my POV. I hope it helps take the heavy weight out of your vains.

    Your NOT a writer. Your a storyteller.

    There, doesn’t that feel better? If your a ‘writer’ then every communication is you ‘doing your job’. No wonder your burnt out. That would be like an Olympic runner doing their job every time they ran for the bus.

    Take me. I’m in books. I read. I am a reader. I put books down. I stop mid story because I can’t face reading another page. I may pic up a different book. I may get fresh air and read nothing. And all I am is a reader. I’m not creating anything.

    Stop piling in the expectations. Your lovely characters actually like you. At least I hope that’s the case. When you decide to hang out again, do just that. Don’t write anything just jump in your head and visit them. Shoot the breeze. No expectation of a story, just catching up with some people you love.

    You see we can’t always be there. Not can writer mates etc… But your characters are always waiting for you and they can give as good as they get. I’m sure you can chat…. About all sorts. Who knows? Doesn’t matter because there is no stress when you chat.

    Take that heavy weight of responsibility off your shoulders and realise its ok to chillax and have fun. Your a storyteller.

    In the words of Monty Python

    “He’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy…”

    Damn that’s not the quote. Oh yeah, -“Always look on the bright side of life.”

    It’s all good over here. I will refill the bar myself and we shall get sloshed and boozed up while you hang with your mates.

    *super hugs*

    Squally

    • As a ‘readers’ I apologise for my typos. Autocorrect and I don’t get along very well. Nasty bastard hangs out with Siri and that girl freaks me out.

      Alright, as you were.

      SQ

  19. You have no reason to feel bad! Everybody who reads this loves your work and completely understands that you also have a life of your own! We all know how talented you are so do not sell yourself short! Hang in there……you’ll get you mojo back!

  20. I’m sure when your ready things will happen and I’m sorry that there is pressure for you. But we can’t help nagging when you wrote such a great book and we need to know what happens🙂. Good luck x

  21. so the last book I read was anything he wants #5. Now there is anythin he wants castaway 1. Does this continue from book #5? can any one explain?

    • #6 & #7 are out for your reading pleasure. Not the full book but the first two parts of book 2. Man that sounds complicated. You can get 6&7 on Amazon right now.

      Be warned it will leave you wanting to scratch an itch.

      SQ

  22. Here is some tough love chic. Get over it and get back to work im hanging on a string now. I have readers block were my favorite arthur has cut me off. Im joking it is all good enjoy your days on the bike and family outings. Then get back to work cause it wont publish its self. Ok im better now so if u need to yell,scream, or bite find a kid and go to town on it. I hope you feel better soon and know I am not going nowhere. I love your books. Just keep us updated on how YOU are doing🙂 good luck hugs coming your way

  23. Oh Sara, Boy have I been there and done that! Maybe not in writing, but in other things where I’ve had deadlines or people relying on me. So let’s ease your mind…Breathe, relax, go Zen for awhile, take a chill pill. You deserve a break, a vacation! We will still be here when you find your Muse again! Just check in and let us know you are ok. We worry about you. You, first, and then the story. Okay? Okay…

  24. Reblogged this on elaseo and commented:
    High respect for you Sara. No pressure, we still love you. I’m sure readers can enjoy re-reading AHW while waiting for the 3rd installment of Castaway, which I’m guilty of as of this moment🙂

  25. Like someone said before me, we will still be waiting here anxiously when the story comes (whenever that is). I can imagine that writing stories that are actually good and interesting (like AHW) is difficult and takes time, so we will be patiently waiting for the next one🙂 hope everything goes well for you!

  26. Take your time. We will wait for you, know matter how long it takes. I’m sure when the story is ready to be told it will be another amazing adventure! xXx

  27. Positive energy your way. I can’t say I don’t go to your blog several times a day hoping there’s something new but when there isn’t I just smile and say, Boy she must really be coming up with some gold.
    When it come you will wow us as usual!!

  28. Don’t beat yourself up, Sara….no matter what we do in life, there are bumps in the road. Yes, we are anxiously waiting, because we MISS those characters. But we will get to see them again when they are ready. Take care, and keep yourself healthy and strong. Best wishes coming your way.

  29. Positive vibes from one of your newest fans. I love the way you write n portray your stories. When I started reading I couldn’t stop! So will cross my fingers that you get bk on your “horse” n patiently wait till the next AHW books is ready for me n many others to read n enjoy like we have during the first seven! BREATH (release tension) LIVE, LAUGH,LOVE……😀
    Patience always motivates AWESOMENESS
    PS a glass of wine always helps too

  30. So sorry to hear this…..Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance called it “stuckness.” I’ll try and help you out though……Lucy ends up with Jeremiah and Lucas does something heroic to ammend for his past and accepts that Lucy belongs with Jeremiah. I just love the series and hope your unstuck soon.

    • Bahahahahaha ::applause:: Great idea. Give her back her outline to the plot in case she forgot. God I love fellow readers. We are a twisted and funny bunch.

      SQ

  31. Just realized that “your” should have been “you’re”….. I felt compelled to state this after reading many blogs that complain incessantly about typos.

  32. Like many have said before me NO WORRIES!!!!You are not letting us down. I think you are going to have to get over that feeling before you can start writing again. I LOVE your books and will be here when you are ready to share more with us. Please just take care of yourself because you stressing so much isn’t going to help. Here’s to sending you some good vibrations..LOL

  33. Sara..sometimes life is very overwhelming …and stuck at brick walls….we go through in human lives….than I think about it like life is like water going down drain pipes…most of times flushes great but as it goes through pipes gets nerrower ,bumps, turns, and some more plugs ,bumps and turns but plunge through….and at end the water reaches goal…open water…like ocean….
    This is how I think about my life….

    So when you are ready we will be waiting for you without pressuring unconditional support.

    Take care and love
    Naomi.A-A

  34. Don’t be so hard on youtdelf Sara, we all go through it. You call it writer’s block/burn out. I call it life block. In times like this you have to be self-centered, meaning you must center your “self” before you can be any good to anyone or anything. You’ll get there minute by minute, day by day, even month by month if you have too. Take as much time as you need. We’ll wait, cause it’s a story worth waitinng for….

  35. Sara… You are HUMAN!!🙂 One day at a time. I totally appreciate the honest. You Rock!!! I would rather you take your time and create/produce great work, than, rush and product crap!!!!! We all still have “much luv” for you!!! Relax, have a drink of your choice. Your deserve it!! Team Lucas baby!!!

    Celeste

  36. Can I just say. You need to take care of yourself first. Love the books. Just finished castaway two. Loved it. When, and only when you can. Finish the next book. If I and your other fans have to wait. It does not matter. Thank you for what I have read so far. You are so talented. As Dana above wrote can read the others again. That is the sign of a good book. Take care. x

  37. It’s okay Sarah. As a huge fan of your books I support you. Take your time although I’m dying to hear what becomes of Lucy and the Hamilton brothers. Whenever your ready to write you write and enjoy. Love ya🙂

  38. As a writer myself with a dozen unfinished stories for having the very same problem, I understand. As a friend of mine told me “This too shall pass”. I have finished stories after not touching them for a year. I’ve finished entire novels in two weeks. Sometimes were in an ocean of words, sometimes we’re on the Mojave Desert. You’re a great writer and author. Breathe, eat a great big piece of chocolate and most of all have fun.

  39. I’ve discovered and finished the entire AHW series over this weekend and am dying for the next addition! Through your writers block just know that you have some serious fans that will be here anxiously waiting for your next piece of genius no matter how long you need to get though this! We’re loyal.

  40. Hi Sara I agree with everything that everyone has commented above they r all reasonable people who understands ur situation and so do I. Sara u r one amazing writer and we ur fans love that about u. Ur imagination for story telling is mind blowing so don’t worry girl you’ll b fine it happens to da best ! Just take a time out and do something fun that u love to do that doesn’t involve writing and it will come to u. I love ur story about Jeremiah and Lucy everything about their story frm book 1 to 7 has been amazing. But please let them have an ending with them making up and ending back together . I wanted to cry when I read that Lucus and Lucy slept together but that’s ur twist in da story heart pounding moments! But may b sometime after castaway 3 is finished which I’m confident u will finish cos ur brilliant never forget that! Then may b u can give Lucus his own story,love story cos he deserved one. Lucus is a nice guy on da inside but tough on da outside so may b he can find some one to love in ur next book. Anyway good luck Sara all da best u r fantastic!

  41. Stop putting pressure on yourself then the words will flow. We’ll be here to see how the story turrns out. It is just building suspense for us. LOL

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