What causes your writer’s block? Not necessarily the proverbial blockage that keeps a writer from putting any words on the page for days or weeks or more, but the thing that bumps you out of your groove so you have to go get a snack or check the interwebs or waste valuable writing time in any way?
Mine’s METAPHOR. Metaphor is my productivity Achilles heel. I’ll be sailing along fine, and then I come to a sentence that requires a comparison for explanation, and urrrrrch! I’m suddenly leaving my document and writing a blog post on the pain of metaphor instead.
Once I read a Jasper Fforde book in the Tuesday Next Series (Tuesday is a book jumper and has to enforce laws in literary crime), where there was a dangerous shortage of metaphor, and it’s being sold on the black market. (In another of his books, the weapons of mass destruction are highly aged cheeses, so stinky they can kill. He’s wildly creative.) I’ve often since thought about how accurate that is! All the good metaphors have already been thought of, surely, and have to be recycled by us latter-day writers.
So now I have to go back to my piece and try to think of a good metaphor to contrast the wretched apartment the heroine has been living in with the palatial mansion she’s being offered. The hell-versus-heaven metaphor is overdone. What else is there? I’ll be racking my brains.
Or maybe I can find some nice, melty (but non-WMD) cheese to eat instead.