I don’t believe in writer’s block, because I believe everyone has their own writing process. The task is to honor whatever it is. When I begin a novel, I have a story to tell, and my aim is not so much to entertain as to say something about the complexities of living through the art of story. I’m fascinated in the deep-seated emotional life within all of us. I firmly believe most people hide a significant part of who they are, and in my mind, there are many possibilities for why this is so: fear of not fitting in; of being misunderstood; unreasonable expectations from someone close and domineering; or perhaps the weight of psychic and emotional baggage accrued from any number of avenues. It’s our emotional life that shapes much of our fate, and I never underestimate its motivational significance. Because this is a subject that intrigues me, I weave it into all of my books, for I want to tell more than a story; I like to give the reader suggestions on how the story came to be because I think we are all subject to cause and effect.
When I have a novel in mind, I know its beginning, middle, and end, which gives me a story line, yet I’m more concerned with the book’s message. I go into writing a book with both considerations in play, and allow the book to breathe and grow. Because I realize that most of us play out our lives in contrast and comparison to other people, and that our lives are somehow reflective of the people, places and things around us, I use characters as triggers for cause and effect within the story. It is the interplay, the exchange between characters that gives a story meaning, and I’ll go one further to say it’s the characters in a book that show us who we are.
All this said, I take my time writing a novel, for I believe it has its own life force. Â I have yet to write anything wherein I did not pause and reflect in the process, which is exactly why I’m not a believer in writer’s block. I believe the story is within me, flying around on the wings of inspiration, and my job is to let it make itself known, in its own terms then put it into words in my own timeframe.
I’ve heard it said by some writers that even when they’re not writing, they’re writing in their head. This makes perfect sense to me, and it takes mineral patience and iron trust to fenagle the weight. If a writer can do this, then it allows for a living, breathing work in progress to create itself. As for writer’s block, I never claim it. When in downtime, I tell myself I’m only taking a breath.