MT McGuire Books

Talking about unblocking drains

How do you unblock a writer?

Things are hectic here at Casa McGuire with a flotilla — or is that a crack — of plumbers, jubilee cakes to make, a birthday party to organise and a very lively three year old to amuse. This does not make for an easy time plotting a book — a fairly cerebral process which takes a great deal of mental application and energy… neither of which I have, just ideas. In abundance. Which is tricky.

When it’s all go and it’s lovely I’m a great believer in giving up and enjoying it. The grey matter should not be forced. So for me right now, it’s a case of tinkering. A sentence here and there, a joke, a bit of conversation. If the brain can’t cope it’s a case of letting it put its feet up and leaving the subconscious get on with it. Sure it’s frustrating but it’ll happen, and probably a lot faster than if I flog my extensively plutzed grey matter.

Meanwhile, I’ll work on something else… unless I’m too blitzed to write at all. In which case, I’ll stop.

So there we are. Difficult things to learn about writing number 63: knowing when not to.

As if to bear me out, when I click post, WordPress gives me a quote from Agatha Christe.

The best time to plan a book is when you’re doing the dishes.”

Posted June 3, 2012 and visited 13141 times, 1 so far today

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5 comments... add one yourself ?

  1. MTM, we all get blocks.

    My way out is to write flash fiction for a while until the imagination starts firing on all cylinders again…

  2. Mine is just that I’ve been revving the crap out of my brain. I’ve loads of ideas I just need two or three days straight to sit down and work it out. I’m pretty sure I could fix it by writing a different book but I’m going to take a week off first.



  3. First of all I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing. I’ve had trouble clearing
    my thoughts in getting my ideas out. I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out how
    to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Cheers!

  4. That’s tricky, it takes me a good 10 minutes, myself. Actually sometimes it takes half the day. One of the key things is to make a note of where you intend to take the stuff you’re working on at the end of each writing session. I aim to write 1,000 words or more each ‘writing’ day and I don’t aim to force it. Mostly I spend half an hour sorting the house, putting the washing out, stuff like that. Then I get a cup of coffee, sit down and I either read what I’ve written the day before, or I look at the where to go now notes.

    Once I’m done, I start, if I’m writing something new and if I’m continuing a scene, I read the scene so far and then dive in. The big secret is not to force it and if you find something else wants to be written first, don’t sweat it. Be ready, and happy, to write whatever comes into your head… I quite often find that I write two books at once.

    I hope that helps.



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