Writer’s Block and Fiery Bride author Cynthia Woolf

Moonday Mania

Welcome Cynthia Woolf

This week we start off with fellow Colorado author Cynthia Woolf. Cynthia’s western romance Matchmaker & Co. series that includes Capital Bride and Heiress Bride, has grown very popular and well known in western romance circles. A multi-genre multi-published author Cynthia also is an author of another western romance series (the Tame series) well as two Sci-fi romance novel series; Swords of Gegara and the Centauri series. Please welcome, Cynthia Woolf, to Jessica Aspen Writes.

With my latest book, FIERY BRIDE, I got something that most other writers have gotten before me, but that I really hadn’t experienced up until now.  The dreaded Writers Block.  Yes, me.  The person who has written twelve books in two years had Writers Block.  I literally didn’t write for more than two weeks.  I simply didn’t know where the story was or was going to happen.  At one point I got so frustrated, that I just didn’t care.

I’d sit and stare at the screen.  I watched movies and read books.  Nothing.  I worked on other stories.  Well sort of.  I was able to come up with some ideas for other stories, but actually starting those stories was as hard as trying to work on the one I already had going.

My critique partners suggested scenes I could write that hopefully would get me going but even then I couldn’t break through.  I felt scared.  What if I’d written all the stories that I had in me?  What if that was all there was?

Finally, one of my critique partners suggested that I download my manuscript to my kindle and read through it.  Now you may ask why to the kindle when I could just print it out and read it or read it on my computer screen.  Well, I’d already done both of those things with no effect.  The beauty of downloading it to my kindle is that I couldn’t make changes.  I could only read.

So I read.  I discovered that it sparked my imagination and suddenly I did know where the story was going.  The next thing they, my critique partners, did for me what hold Just Write sessions.  These are times when we get together to “just write”.  Except for the first half hour when we catch up and lunch when we visit again, there is no talking.  Just writing, hence the name.

Now you may ask what these sessions are good for.  Well, we’ve discovered that there is a great energy that we have when we write together.  We also, in that first half hour and again at lunch, bounce ideas off each other.  You can almost see the sparks coming off us as we rattle off ideas for each others stories.

I would never have made it through this last book without my critique partners.  They gave me hope and guided me through a tough time.  If you don’t have critique partners get some.  Get ones that you love and that care about you and your writing and that you care about.  You don’t have to write the same genres; as a matter of fact it’s probably best if you don’t.  You get better, more unique ideas and perspective if you don’t write the same type of books.

Regardless of what you do to get over it, remember that it will pass.  Writer’s block is not forever, unless you want it to be.  If you give up, then you’ll stop writing, but if you keep after it, keep trying, then your book will come out.  It just may take longer than you want or are used to.


fiery_bride 200 x 300After a disastrous marriage, Matchmaker Maggie vowed never to marry again.  She will never give another man the power of life and death over her body and soul. Unfortunately, that doesn’t keep her lonely heart from fantasizing about her newest client, Caleb Black. She made the mistake of starting a flirtatious correspondence with the clever devil, believing they would never meet. But when his new bride abandons her mid-way to Colorado to elope with another man, Maggie is forced to face the devastatingly handsome Caleb and explain.  Now she’ll have to stay long enough to make things right and find him a new wife.  But Maggie better hang on to her vow with both hands, because Caleb has other plans for the fiery matchmaker…and a very seductive kiss.

author cynthia woolfCynthia Woolf was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

She was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and her critique partners for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity















WEBSITE – www.cynthiawoolf.com

FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/CynthiaWoolf

Twitter – @CynthiaWoolf

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5148049.Cynthia_Woolf


Filed under facing failure, guest post, Moonday mania, writing craft

13 responses to “Writer’s Block and Fiery Bride author Cynthia Woolf

  1. This is the best advice I’ve read on overcoming writer’s block, Cynthia. Thanks to Awe-freaking-some writer, Jessica, for having you, and to you for posting this.

    It’s a bit of fear of the unknown, isn’t it? If I’m not sure how my story will make the commute from point A to point B, how can I write it? Through the eyes and thoughts of the characters, of course. And, I’m guessing that’s what happened when you were forced into reader versus writer mode with Kindle.

    All of my critique partners are on-line (and I LOVE them). It’s time for me to troll the Dallas Area Romance writer’s group for a subset of writers in my area. I learned how much energy I draw from direct interaction with fellow writers when I attended Nationals. A weekly dose of that JuJu would kick me up a notch.

    Off to write, now. Planning to make it a happy, productive day!

    • Thank you for that wonderful post, Gloria. You just made my day. I’m always happy to help another writer. And yes, thank you, Jessica for having me today. I too, love your books. You are awesome.

      • You’re always welcome here. 🙂 I love your story about how your crit group pulled you out of your slump. For such a prolific writer it must have been scary to not be able to write. And I’m with you on reading your story on an e-reader. I do that when I’m proofing my books and I’m amazed at how differently they read on an e-reader than on the computer screen. Great idea! I also love your write ins and wonder if that would be something for me to start, maybe once a month. Another terrific idea! Thanks, Cynthia!

    • I love having a critique partner, we pull each other up when we get low. And I love my online friends too, but I’ve found being able to meet over coffee and chat about books, and issues, and plots…that’s a whole different kettle of encouragement to draw from. Gloria, you are a people person. Some of us draw our energy and excitement from people, some of us from being alone, and I bet meeting with other authors in person would definitely fuel the fire!

      I also have to say that I would never have met my CP or finished my book or met terrific people who live far away (like Miss Gloria!) if it weren’t for the Colorado Romance Writers. That’s where I met Cynthia and she’s been a terrific inspiration and a lot of help in getting me to venture into the indie world of publishing, so thanks, Cynthia!

  2. What a fantastic post.
    Thank you so much for sharing. : )

  3. Cindy, with all due respect, after 12 books in 2 years, that wasn’t writers block, it was burn out! Sheesh, you deserved a two-week break. 😉

    Seriously, glad you got over it quickly. The “Just Write” sessions sound like lots of fun as well as being very productive. Good luck with the new release.

  4. Hey Cindy,
    Thanks for sharing the Kindle trick. What a great idea!

  5. sandrakerns

    Great post, Cindy. I do agree with Linda. You deserved a vacation. I thought I was doing well getting 6 books out in a year. Guess I’ll have to step up my game. Thanks for the great idea. It should also come in handy for proofing before sending it to the public.

  6. I was having a tough time with my WIP. Like you, writer’s block isn’t something that generally hits me. When I remembered a tip from Jude Devereaux at Narionals, of changing the characters names when you hit a wall, I tried it. Couldn’t change the hero, since this book is part of a series, but I changed the heroine’s name and it worked. Was able to continue the story.

  7. Love the idea of downloading the manuscript to a Kindle! Not being able to line edit forces a different type of editor to come forth! LOL! I like the idea of the Just Write sessions as well. Thanks for sharing, Cindy!

  8. 12 books in two years? Wow, amazed you lasted that long before hitting a wall. You need to spend time filling up the well, though; long walks, music, being around other people and not necessarily writing.

    Also, ducking out of your assignment, playing hooky, and writing some horrific crackfic stimulates parts of the brain that writing on assignment doesn’t tend to use. That’s related to the Just Write routine that you mentioned, and it can be really fun (and if a character is being um, recalcitrant, writing a truly nasty death scene for them tends to bring them into line, heh). Anyway, something different than the same old grind is really helpful, if only to me.

  9. Great post! I love the idea of the Just Write sessions. Must be so inspiring.
    Thanks, Jennifer.

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