Most writers need a community, and I am no exception. Although I have completed five novels, Pandora’s Box, The Bohemian Life, Magical Diaries, Servant of the Secret Fire, and A Siren’s Lament, I still find it can be a struggle at times to create the structure and motivation that I need in order to stay on course for the entire year or longer that it takes to complete the first draft of a novel. I have several tactics to provide this structure and motivation for myself, including teaching workshops, cafe writing buddies, and taking workshops. In this sense, Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver has been a godsend.
Last December I began a new novel titled VR, a young-adult dystopian novel set about one-hundred years into the future in a heavily forested area of North America. At first, the words were flying out of me at the rate of about 3000 per day. I was able to work out the entire plot of the novel, and then one day, I just stopped writing.
This is the most difficult part of the creative process. At first I just took it in stride, but after a week when nothing happened, I started to become depressed. That went on for another week or so and I decided it was time to put VR aside for a while and return to A Siren’s Lament, which was very close to finished, but not quite.
Once I was productive and writing again, the depression lifted. I was able to bring A Siren’s Lament to its final draft. When that was completed, I went on to other projects. I considered picking up VR again, but every time I did, I just stalled. I know that in the creative process, projects eventually resolve themselves. Either we let them go or we eventually return to them. I knew this was one that I would eventually return to, but I wasn’t sure what was hindering me.
Enter Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Its been nearly a year since I enrolled in a workshop and thought perhaps it was time to get back into that environment, but as a struggling writer I wasn’t sure I could fit it into my budget, so I applied for a scholarship and was granted one. For the late summer session, I’ve signed up for Advanced Long Narrative with Laura Pritchett, PhD
Taking this 8-week workshop will provide the structure, support, and motivation I need. During the eight-week session, we’ll have various writing exercises, discuss readings, and I’ll workshop up to 50 pages of my novel.
If you’ve reached a creative block and need some help to get started again, I highly recommend taking a workshop at Lighthouse.
If you’ve taken workshops with them before or have other suggestions for overcoming writers block, feel free to leave a comment.