If writer’s block has you by the brain and you’re on the verge of deciding to go into the dog walking business and never writing another word that doesn’t appear on a pet pampering menu, then ask yourself these questions…
ONE: Do you really want to be a novelist? Yes or no. It’s digital. “Maybe” isn’t allowed. If the answer is yes, then move to question 2. And if the answer is No, then stop here and go have fun with the french fries.
TWO: Are you writing for the right age group? Yes or no? Do you like the age group you’re writing for? Are you writing for kids? Do you understand them? It’s hard to write for an age group you don’t understand and can’t relate to. So, are you writing for the right age group? If yes, fine. If no, then stop messing around and choose an age group you do understand. Writing for children is no easier than writing for adults. Don’t kid yourself!
THREE: Are you writing in the right genre? Do you watch movies in your chosen genre? When you turn the TV on, what are you attracted to, time after time after time? What is the guilty pleasure you’ll never admit to? Chances are, that’s the genre you should be writing in.
FOUR: Can you say why you want to be a novelist? What’s in it for you? What will you get out of it? What are you willing to put into it?
FIVE: Do you really know your characters? Do you know their dreams, passions, fears, and desires? Do you know what they look like, feel like, and smell like? Do you know where their birth marks and secret tattoos are?
SIX: Would you keep doing this even if you never got published? Would you do this if you never got paid?
SEVEN: Is this worth the sacrifice to your family and friends? Who believes in you? Who trusts you?
EIGHT: Have you done your research? Do you have enough information? Do you know what questions to ask? Are you making it up because it’s easier than finding out? How much artistic license are you applying?
NINE: Can you write? Are you any good? Can you string more than six words together without boring yourself?
TEN: Is the plot you’ve been working on solid? Is it packed with clichés? Is it predicable or unbelievable? Is it worth your time and your readers’ imagination?
ELEVEN: Are you writing something only you can write? Is the story world you’re creating something only you could create?
Be honest. Answer these questions. If you can’t answer them, then take the time to think until you can. Don’t mess about. It’s your life you’re choosing to spend on this. Make it count.
Be good to yourself today!