We’re giving a warm welcome to author RJ Jones today, on the tour for her latest release, As the Sun Sets. She sharing the woes of Writer’s Block with us and is also offering a great giveaway, so be sure to check out those details below.
Writer’s Block – What is it?
To be honest I have no idea, but I had it a few months ago. I had been writing and writing and was half way through a 30k novella which I planned on releasing for free. The problem was all but 2k of it was shite. At least that’s what I thought anyway. I thought maybe it was the story, maybe I had trouble getting into the character’s heads as they’re quite complex. I blamed the story, too many elements and a theme I had trouble understanding.
So I shelved it and started outlining another story that the characters were pushing to be heard. I started writing the first scene on that story, got to about 500 words and realized it wasn’t the story that was the problem. It was me!
The words weren’t flowing properly. It was disjointed and all over the place. And it gave me a rather large headache as I tried to struggle through the shitty words that shouldn’t have been written in the first place.
So was this writer’s block? Probably. Who knows? All I know is everything I had written was a pile of crap, so I stepped back from writing until I could do it again with an element of confidence.
So, because I wasn’t writing anything I researched instead.
Writer’s Block definition as per our good friend, Mr Wikipedia:
Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years. Throughout history, writer’s block has been a documented problem. Professionals who have struggled with the affliction include author F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Mitchell and pop culture cartoonist Charles M. Schulz. Research concerning this topic was done in the late 1970s and 1980s. During this time, researchers were influenced by the Process and Post-Process movements, and therefore focused specifically on the writer’s processes. The condition was first described in 1947 by psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler.
Blah, blah, blah… Although it’s nice to know even famous people went through it.
“Writer’s block is for people who have the luxury of time.” ~ Jodi Picoult
Some definitions I’ve come across state that Writer’s Block is the inability to come up with anything to write about. I refer to Mr Wikipedia once more:
Blank page syndrome is similar to writer’s block, but in this case it isn’t a psychological term like writer’s block is. It can happen at any point in time during a writer’s career; be it right after an author dishes out six best-selling novels, or smack dab in the middle of the page. This syndrome can be very irksome to authors and often leads to a long span of time where they can’t come up with anything new. Coping strategies include: distracting yourself from the piece for a while, reading a book, and forcing yourself to write something even if it doesn’t make any sense. To avoid blank page syndrome it’s best to have an idea when you sit down to write, and to keep from procrastinating because stress only worsens the blank page syndrome.
This was not the case for me. I had a WIP with 15k already written, another one with 13k. I also had an outline for one I hadn’t started yet. And it wasn’t like the characters weren’t talking to me. They never shut up! My problem was I seemed to have lost the ability to write anything I considered any good. My sentences were a mess, my timeline was out. My characters were shitty and one dimensional. My scenes were FORCED. I felt it. They were stilted, and most of the time unreadable. It was like pulling teeth. I lost my confidence.
“There is no such thing as writer’s block for writers whose standards are low enough.” ~ William Stafford, American poet
This quote tells me I didn’t have writer’s block, just high standards. It passed after a couple of months and I found my confidence again. But it was a time I hated and wouldn’t wish it upon any author at all.
About the Book
A sea change could be just what the doctor ordered.
Doctor Scott Penney used to be a Paediatric Oncologist—until he burned out. Watching children suffer and die took its toll on his mental health. To cope, he used anonymous sex as an emotional crutch, thinking it was better than hitting the bottle. But that inevitably destroyed his relationship with the man he loved.
With his tail between his legs and a year’s worth of celibacy under his belt, Scott accepts a position as an Accident and Emergency consultant, leaving his career in oncology and London behind.
Ben Jenkins is a paediatric nurse who loves his seaside city, his job, and his faithful old Labrador, Happy. When he meets the new doctor, Ben falls for Scott’s kind-yet-reserved personality—not to mention his good looks. Scott is great with the children who come through the hospital, but Ben senses there’s more to Scott than meets the eye.
Scott tries to resist Ben’s sunny charm—Scott’s not boyfriend material, after all—but it’s impossible not to fall in love with the sad looking old dog and his charming owner. As Scott and Ben get closer and the weather heats up, tragedy strikes and Ben is left wondering how much of Scott’s history he actually knows.
For them to move forward, Ben must show Scott that no matter what happened in the past, a beautiful day can always start after the sun sets.
**This can be read as a standalone**
About the Author
RJ started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into her thoughts, insisting on telling her their story that she started to write. It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower.
RJ’s initial thought was if she could write their scene then they’d shut up and allow her to concentrate on other aspects of the day. That shower scene was 3000 words long and three hours of work. But they didn’t shut up. They told her their entire story and she didn’t sleep for days. Sometimes she couldn’t keep up with what they were telling her and she had to keep a notebook by the bed.
Whilst RJ was writing their story a side character decided he needed his story told too. Then other characters followed suit.
You see the problem? If RJ ever wants to sleep again then she needs to write.
RJ is a wife and a mother to two boys. Even her dog is a boy.
She is surrounded by males.
RJ writes emotionally charged, character driven romances. Her guys will always get their HEA, but it will never be easy.