Friday, April 16, 2010

Writer's Block: The Symptoms and Diagnosis

Have you ever wondered how to tell if you have writer's block? I mean, sometimes we've just been bitten by the lull bug that will pass quickly, but other times we've been struck with the yucky "block" disease. It's important to identify the symptoms quickly so you can start treating any serious condition immediately before it has detrimental effects on your writing career. (wow... don't I sound all medicalish?!?)

I've come up with this little quiz for you to take to help diagnose the problem.

1.) When you sit down to write, you:


A. Type something that looks like this: ;askdfja;ldkjfa;sdfjaldfkja
B. Fall asleep
C. Jump into action and type away.

2.) When you don't feel like sitting down to write, you:


A. Clean your house, do laundry, volunteer for the PTA (even if you don't have kids)
B. Go out with friends or read a good novel.
C. Go get a Coke, and write anyway.

3.) When people ask you how your writing is going, you say:


A. Wonderful! (while lying through your teeth)
B. Not the greatest... but I'll get there!
C. Pretty good.

4.) When you actually DO write, you:

A. Write 200 words, delete them, then call it a day.
B. Write 200 words then call it a day.
C. Write 2000 words then call it a day.

5.) All the pencils in your house are:

A. Sharpened-- very pointy!
B. Unsharpened
C. Pencils? What are those? I'm busy typing here!

(substitute for #5 if you never write by hand)
5.) Your current WIP on your computer is:

A.) Organized by chapter or edition, safely tucked away in a WIP folder.
B.) Saved in your WIP folder with a short-cut on your desktop for future use.
C.) Saved but currently open at the bottom along with your open research notes and any outlines/character sketches you've done.

If the majority of your answers are C... then well done! You are bug and disease free!

If the majority of your answers are B... then you have a case of the writing lulls. No worries, it should clear up in the next few weeks. However, if in a month you still aren't better, retake the quiz. Stay tuned for Monday as we discuss ways to cope with Writer's Lull.

If the majority of your answers are A... then BEWARE. You may be suffering from the dreaded Writer's Block! Stay tuned for Monday as we discuss ways to cure Writer's Block.

**Note** Obviously this is NOT a scientific quiz, and results may vary given your individual tendencies. Based on the assumptions that:
1.) Most people with writer's block avoid writing by doing things they don't necessarily want to do.
2.) Most people in a lull are there because they are too busy or tired, not because they don't know what to write next.


Discussion: So... Where are you at? A, B, or C? Personally, I'm B right now... but fear it may develop into A if I'm not careful.

14 comments:

sherrinda said...

LOLOL...I think I'm a B. (Bbzzzz) Oh brother...I'm thinking too weird today.

I've struggled with this, but with my editing. I am thinking though, it is time to move on and do something new...learn a bit more so that I CAN go back and edit better.

You are so funny!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

If I'm doing laundry or cleaning then I know I'm in a bad way. ;)

I joke with close friends that I had writer's block the entire time I breastfed. Maybe my babies were sucking all the ideas out of me. ;)

Happy Weekend.
~ Wendy

Katie Ganshert said...

You're hilarious. I think I'm at D....err...wait, was that an option? I'm brainstorming right now...getting to know my characters. It's a slow process without the great feeling of typing 1000 words a day. It's harder to measure success and make goals when I'm at this stage, which sort of drives me mad.

sherrinda said...

I sent you an email on your website email. Wasn't sure if you check that much or not and I didn't have your personal one. :)

Keli Gwyn said...

What a fun post, Krista. I've been a B recently, but the dam broke this week, and I'm back to cruising along C-style. Phew!

Karen Lange said...

Love this list! Thanks for sharing it:) Hovering between B and C now, but mostly because of some other life events. Have a wonderful weekend,
Karen

Natalie said...

LOL. I think I usually fall in the B category but I've been an A and a C sometimes too.

Christ is Write. said...

I love this! What a great idea! :)

Tessa

Julie Jarnagin said...

It depends on the day, but I'm usually a B.

Koala Bear Writer said...

Very funny. :) I'm not sure where I am right now... does trying to get some editing done so I can start writing count? My editorial deadlines are a bit harsher than my writing deadlines right now...

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Definitely in a lull. :)

Loved the cartoon.

Blessings,
Susan

Jessica Nelson said...

Awww, cute quiz! I'm a B, almost always. Does that mean I'm forever in a lull? Or maybe I'm just lazy...

Krista Phillips said...

You all make me feel so much better!!!! I've been SO very irritated at my B status, but I see I'm in good company!

patti said...

This is fun! Hmmm. Right now I am in the vacation mode, having just finished a proposal!!!

Wait and see time.
Patti