“How are you doing today” asks the lady who stopped by the register to help bag my groceries.
“Okay,” I’ve long since passed the days where I feel the need to claim I’m going “great” or even “good” when I’m really not.
“Just okay? Well, hopefully the weekend will get better.” She puts the couple bags in my cart and asks if I need help out with them. I decline and she continues on.
Meanwhile, the guy still ringing up the rest of my groceries looks at me, “Have anything fun planned for the rest of the weekend?”
“I wish I could write….”
The conversation continued for just a little longer, but it was a bright spot in what’s been a kind of a challenging week for me. I learned that he’s a reader, but never been much of a writer — which is why he’s going for a degree in the sciences.
I thanked him for being a reader (because we writers need readers!) and encouraged him to keep writing if he enjoys it, it takes practice but I think if someone enjoys it and wants to do it then they’ve got the ability in them to write.
Then I said how I was deep into edits on a novel right now, and that’s when he asked a question that made the conversation stand out to me.
“Is there such a thing as Editors block?”
“Yes,” I responded without a seconds hesitation. “I mean, I haven’t actually heard anyone refer to it but, yes…”
I forget what he actually responded to that, but he smiled a genuine smile and said something that helped to reinforce the reality of such a thing, something like “You’re feeling it, so it must be so?”
Sometimes being able to put a name to the thing that is causing us problems can be so helpful. I know I have to keep pushing, work through these revisions and edits to get the manuscript to the point I want and need it to be. It’s hard though. I know I have to be gentle with myself through the process, but I also need to remember that editing block is a real thing. Just like writer’s block, there are things I can do to help make my way through it. I’m not quite sure what those things are, but probably similar to what helps me get through writer’s block: reading, seeking out story-relevant inspiration, and allowing myself to put the manuscript on the shelf for just a little longer to work on other projects for a bit.
Have you ever run into Editor’s block? What do you do to cope with it?
This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a great group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.
There is also a great Facebook Community for more daily connection! More posts from the group are tagged on Twitter at #IWSG.
We also put out a book, available for free, with great articles on topics from writing to publishing, everything in-between and beyond