a long or roundabout route that is taken to avoid something or to visit somewhere along the way.
It’s not really fair to call it a BLOCK. I mean, when I picture a road block, I envision a big sign that shouts in all caps: “ROAD CLOSED,” and it’s completely clear that you can’t go there. So in writing, a writer’s block means that nothing is getting written. You can’t . It just isn’t gonna happen. That’s not really what’s going on.
I think detour is more accurate. I have Writer’s Detour. I have ideas, and I could write them down, but hey look! what’s that?! something shiny! My writing status brings to mind a walk with a toddler. Perhaps it starts as exercise, or maybe there’s even a destination in mind, but along the way, there are rocks, worms, grass, flowers, sidewalk cracks, sunshine, puddles, curbs, cars, snacks, and a million other wonderful things to grab your attention. Sometimes you arrive at your destination, and sometimes you just turn around and go back home because you run out of time. At any rate, you get something done, and you end up somewhere, even if it wasn’t the way you originally planned.
I’m actually a fan of detours, which is surprising, considering how much I like knowing what to expect. When I go on a road trip, I love taking the long way, and I don’t mind when the GPS reroutes the trip (as long as I’m not on a deadline). On detours, I’ve tasted delicious food, had soul-searching conversations, noticed nature, sung loudly, refueled, changed my mind, felt grateful, and eventually–ended up somewhere. I have also rolled my eyes, thrown my hands up, and shouted swear words.
The definition of detour indicates a route taken to “avoid something or to visit somewhere along the way.” I definitely haven’t been avoiding writing on purpose, but I have been visiting somewhere–sort of–along the way.
In the last month or so I have tasted delicious food, had soul-searching conversations, noticed nature, sung loudly (not that I let anyone else hear, mind you), refueled, changed my mind, felt grateful, and now–I’ve ended up in March. I have also rolled my eyes, thrown my hands up, and shouted swear words.
I sent some queries to agents and did some reading, which is worth a lot. Even though I didn’t plan it (which is often the case with changed travel situations), I don’t regret my writer’s detour. It’s nice to be “on the road again. Time to keep after my writing goals and set some new ones.
Don’t be afraid to take a different route. You’ll definitely end up somewhere!
One thought on “Writer’s… Detour”
Think about how the word detour would translate from French. You have to add a little ça vaut le détour which translates to…..it’s worth the trip. So as you proceed with your writers detour just remember that.
Now back to NPR and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me
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