Anonymous asked: Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it? I'd love to get back into writing a story I've had in my heard for years, but it's really difficult. I feel like maybe it's been too long and I should move on, but then it's almost like this story is a part of me and it needs to come out. I had most of it written at one point in time but I lost it. (Hard drive crash, no real backups, my fault I know) and that pretty much killed me to the point I haven't been able to write since.
I don’t believe in writer’s block, I would say it is not a thing that actually exists. The phenomenon we call writer’s block is the act of writing not producing immediately-useful results. It’s frustrating when you grind your gears and you can’t connect the right wires but you’re still writing, that’s all part of the job. I’ve had a number of moments where I was afraid I’d written myself into a corner and what I do in those cases is backtrack through what I’d written looking for seeds, hooks and elements I’d planted that I could tie in to help solve a current problem- a lot of deep hooks in my comic that seem like they were planned years in advance were me going back and saying “oh, I can tie that into this” and tricking everyone into thinking I had some infinite foresight- that’s not to say that I don’t actually have deep hooks buried in the narrative, it’s more that I’ve pulled a couple out of hindsight rather than foresight.
If you have a story the best thing you can do is write it. There is no writer’s block, there is just the will or lack thereof to put something imperfect down on paper and show it to people. My working philosophy is “the best idea is the one you haven’t had yet”- what this means is that some of the major story elements I’d written came to me while I was fleshing out alternate versions of those storylines and I realized, “oh, this is a better than what I had planned” and doing this has actually saved a couple beloved characters’ lives. It’s also where a lot of that frantic backtracking came from, because now that I have this new idea I need to go back in and contextualize it so it fits seamlessly into the narrative which has had me pulling my hair out many nights in the past and comes back around to the original question:
I’ve never had writer’s block because it doesn’t exist. I’ve had a hard time with a writing problem but I work through it and keep writing. That’s the most important piece of advice: keep writing, if it’s not perfect you can either learn from it or fix it when you’re wiser, and those imperfections can often inspire your best work.