Sunday, March 22, 2009

Guest Blogger L. Diane Wolfe on Hitting the Wall

It is my pleasure to introduce my first guest blogger, L. Diane Wolfe.

Known as “Spunk On A Stick”, L. Diane Wolfe conducts seminars on promoting, leadership and goal setting. She began writing as a teenager and was inspired to return by the adage that everyone needs “something to hope for and someone to love.” The author loves people, and her optimism is fueled by her spunky, sanguine personality. Wolfe does not believe in the word impossible and is willing to do whatever it takes to spread the message of hope found within her series.

Today, she is sharing her enthusiasm with us and discussing tips to help when a writer "hits the wall." Please welcome, L. Diane Wolfe.

Hitting the Wall

Hitting the wall. Losing one’s muse. Grinding to a halt. These phrases describe a very discouraging situation also known as writer’s block. Why does it happen and what can we do to correct the problem?
Creative difficulties occur for a number of reasons. Perhaps things were running smoothly and then our story ran out of gas. Maybe we have grown careless with our processes and habits, rendering us unprepared for challenges. Our enthusiasm may wane, draining all motivation. Bottom line – we hit a wall when we lose sight of our goal. Without a clear target, we begin to drift and our story may stall.
How can we prevent the proverbial wall from appearing? How can writers apply the power of defined goals to their situation?
An outline provides a writer with a clear path to follow. Writing without an outline is like driving without a map –we don’t know where we’re going. A basic synopsis, complete with ending, will keep our story flowing forward. With an outline, we always have the option of skipping ahead to the next scene just to keep creativity flowing, thus preventing writer’s block from stopping us cold.
An outline will also keep us from wandering from our original idea. Think of all the time we save when we stop chasing rabbits! A physical outline is far more effective than a mental one, too. Our brilliantly conceived story will hold our interest if we can view concrete ideas and plans. Relying on the wisp of an idea in our minds is too vague and eventually leads to frustration. Write out the basic plot and set it in stone.
It takes more than an outline, though. The real strength of our resolve to stay on target resides between our ears! Our attitude and determination will play a pivotal role in our ability to move past obstacles. How strong is the desire to see our vision develop into a tangible story that others can enjoy? It will not matter how well constructed the outline if the story does not ignite the fire in our soul.
Is it really that simple? An outline and our attitude? Yes, because all it really takes to overcome any challenge or problem is a dream and a desire!
So, make preparations before the wall appears on the horizon and the inspirational muse goes missing. Plan a course of action and get excited about the journey. Remember, we don’t have time for obstacles in our path. We’ve got a story to write!

- Author & professional speaker, L. Diane Wolfe

Wolfe’s newest title, “Overcoming Obstacles With SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting,” is an inspirational self-help book. The author has tied all of her goal-setting and leadership seminar information together into one complete, enthusiastic package! Seven other authors also contributed to this title, which features the five keys to success and summary points for each chapter.

The author’s other work is a young adult series entitled The Circle of Friends. It follows a group of sports-minded couples through relationships, college and into their early careers. Meant to inspire as well as entertain, these books have been described as “encouragement personified.” This series feature morally grounded, positive stories that appeal to both teens and concerned parents. The stories intertwine as the characters learn that with belief and encouragement, they can achieve anything. Many of today’s young adult novels are salacious & controversial and glorify frequent sexual activity, negative attitudes, and deviant behavior. Wolfe’s series focuses on wholesome and uplifting stories that are suitable for adults and teens alike.

A Christian and a vegetarian, Wolfe enjoys sports and has a passion for roller coasters. Growing up in Salem, Oregon, the author now resides North Carolina with her husband and two cats. She is self-employed and a professional photographer.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you, Nancy!

L. Diane Wolfe

Nancy J. Parra said...

Welcome!! I enjoyed your article very much. Thanks for being my first guest. The blog will be up all week as people trickle in.


Morgan Mandel said...

Outlines and roller coasters are two things I just can't do. I'm a pantser when it comes to writing and a chicken when it comes to roller coasters. I guess that's why Diane is so spunky since she can conquer both.

Morgan Mandel

Jessica said...

Great advice Diane! Though I did do a physical outline and wandered off without realizing it. LOL But you're so right; keeping the goal in front of me each scene helps me to go the right direction.
Thanks for the info!
And thanks Nancy.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Diane, how wonderful to see you. I enjoy your blog.

I tend not to use a outline unless I'm creating a world and I do it then to keep the culture, characters, and timelines straight. I'm a pantzer in writing style and when I'm in a serious writing mode I write 4 or 5,000 words in a session. My story lives for some time in my head before I start to write. I'm working on it and getting it straight there first. that's not to say I don't jot down barebone notes, because I do. I always have a file where I jot ideas I don't want to forget, character analysis/background, and any research I have.

Thanks for the info and insights. :-)

Marilyn Brant said...

Nancy, congrats on having your first blog guest :).

Diane, I'm a fan of outlining, too, although I can't always say my story lines stay in sync with what I'd planned!

Thanks for the interesting post, ladies.

Marty said...

I have been traveling and have not been able to get to a computer. I am so glad that I got to read this post... not only have I "hit the wall" but in many ways I have "hit the skids" with my story. You article has been an encouragement.

Howard said...

Very nice blog! I very loosely outline and have never had writer's block once started on a book (though have had writer's malaise!)but sometimes get a grump right when I know I need to come up with an idea. Sometimes takes a bit of sweating things out but once the muse Ex-lax kicks in things usually flow pretty well.

Justus M. Bowman said...

Vegetarian, Christian? 5/5 stars from me.