The Compulsive Reader: Jacquelyn Mitchard on Writer's Block

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jacquelyn Mitchard on Writer's Block

Today is the release day of Jacquelyn Mitchard's new YA book, What We Saw at Night! This is a high-stakes thriller with plenty of twists and turns, a really creepy bad guy, and some excellent drama. Needless to say, I absolutely loved it! You can read my review of the book by clicking here.

Today, Jacquelyn is on the blog to talk about writing, specifically writer's block and how she overcomes it.

Here's Jacquelyn!
"Most writers say that the cure for writer's block is to power through it, like you power through "hitting the wall" of exercise when you work out. I say, forget that! I don't really see the sense of writing garbage. When I hit a place where I know that what I'm writing is drivel, I go into the cave: I read. I watch good films. Especially, I sleep. Before I fall asleep, when I'm right on the ledge about to fall over into sleep, I say, "I'm going to go and be with Allie Kim now. I'm going to be with Juliet." In that sleep, even if I don't really dream at all about my plot consciously, I find answers and inspirations. It doesn't have to be at night. If I have time for a long nap, I can slip inside the characters in a way that I can't when I'm pushing at the story, trying and trying to get in to places where all the doors and windows are locked. When people say that you have to get up and go straight to your keyboard while you're still in the semi-trance of sleep, I think that's hokey-pokey. It would be great, but it would be great to be able to go outside on a deck overlooking a beach in Tahiti too, as soon as you awakened, refreshed and filled with the power of dream inspiration. What you do is, keep it in your pocket and don't let yourself get sucked into Facebooking or emailing or any of the usual tasks before you take whatever it is you brought out of your cave out onto the page. You can make breakfast, or work out, or even be with people, but keep that part of you that you found in the place of retreat private and keep it in reserve."
Thanks so much for the advice, Jacquelyn!

What We Saw at Night is available everywhere today--definitely do not miss this awesome book!

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