On Being Stuck, or, Embrace the Stuck

A lot of people ask me questions about writing so much. They ask me how I come up with ideas, where I find the time, if my boyfriend misses me, if I intend of self publishing, when I will edit….

But more than anything, writers will ask me how I keep from getting stuck.

And I have a little secret for you.

(If you have not seen The Avengers–and you should–then this is a little spoiler, but nothing major.)

In the movie, the Hulk, or in his non-green form, Dr. Bruce Banner, is asked how he contains his temper and keeps from hulking out. Yoga? Drugs? Deep breathing?

And just before the big fight scene, when he finally claims the beast within, he tells everyone his secret: “I'm always angry.”

Well, friends. How do I keep from getting stuck?

I'm always stuck. I never expect to not be stuck.

Stuckiness comes with writing like cake comes with frosting, like cats come with claws, like Joss Whedon comes with awesome. The expectation of sitting down and having everything come easy and free and to never have another bad writing day is a lie.

It's a lie that keeps us from writing.

Always expect resistance, and perfectionism, and the feeling that if only the muse would get her fat ass back to your side, everything would be okay. If we expect it, we will be prepared for it, and instead of breaking down into neurotic writers, we can grit our teeth and know it was going to be like this.

Hell, if this shit was easy, everyone would have a book published.

I'm going to talk a lot more this month about moving through being stuck and what kinds of stuck there are – I haven't forgotten. But first, I needed to lay down this ground rule:

We will always be stuck.

At least when the blank page is staring at us and the gremlins are screaming and the muse has flitted off again, we can always get schooled by the hulk, and be a big green badass.




4 thoughts on “On Being Stuck, or, Embrace the Stuck

  1. wow… this is so amazing! i love the avengers metaphor too, though. 🙂 (similie? metaphor? you know what i mean…figurative language…) your wiseness never ceases to amaze me. :3

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