Guest Post: “Writing Cramps” by Christina Hart

Hey everyone,

Busy, busy, busy, as the good people of Bokonon would say. Yeah, it’s been a hellacious busy time here at Out Where the Buses Don’t Run. Work (real work), writing, reading, life, things have been hectic, but in a good way. Unfortunately, my blog’s taken a hit. Hence the reason why there have been no new posts lately. Some new posts will be coming soon, I promise.

In the meantime, here’s a terrific guest post from Christina Hart. You may know her from her insightful and funny blog, Daily Rants with the Bitch Next Door. Christina’s been kind enough to share with us a guest post, entitled “Writing Cramps.” In her words, “it’s 463 words, and summarizes the joys and difficulties of the writing process. It explains how characters can lead you through the process, how you can teach them to stop bitching about the process, and vice versa.”

“Writing Cramps” is a great guest post, and I think all of us who are writers will take much from it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

About the author:

Christina Hart is a writer who has worked for several online women’s magazines and blogs, while running her own blog, Daily Rants With the Bitch Next Door. She has self-published three books, including a poetry collection, a novella and a short novel. She is currently trying to get a fantasy novel published and survive the ups and downs of life while writing her way through it all. 

So, without further ado…


Writing Cramps

By: Christina Hart

Daily Rants with the Bitch Next Door


While writing can be magical at times, it can also be almost crippling. The joy of finishing a novel, the despair of never finishing one. We all suffer from writing cramps at one point or another. So what’s the trick to enjoying it full time? Are there any tricks? Is there one trick that works for everyone?


The trick is simply to love it; whether it loves you back full time or not. You need to be in a committed, long term relationship with your writing. You need to understand it’s like any other love: there are going to be good times and bad times. There are going to be days where you don’t want to get out of bed and write anything at all. There are going to be days where you feel like your work in progress is on a train to nowhere fast. You’re going to feel like that train dropped you off in the middle of nowhere when just yesterday you were in a place full of warmth and promise.

So what’s the trick?

The trick is getting back on that god damn train whether it stops for you or not. The trick is being dedicated enough to be willing to run for it, jump for it, or risk your life for it. Okay, maybe it’s not that intense. But it certainly feels like it sometimes.

The trick is to keep on running, despite the cramps. Run through them. Write through them. The rest will come; if you’re willing to put the work in. Finishing a novel is like running a god damn marathon alone. You only have your characters to get you through this. And if they’re not helping you, poke them until they do. Get them pissed off. Put them in a situation where they have to do something.

Our characters are like our children. Or maybe we’re theirs. They either teach us what’s right or we’re going to have to put them in a corner until they learn it on their own. For me, I tend to let my characters lead the way once I’ve nurtured them to the point that I trust their decisions. Maybe it happens right away. Maybe I feel like they walked into my life and I already knew them. Maybe I have to invent them, only knowing them from their childhood. Maybe I don’t understand why they are the way they are until later in the story. Either way, it’s a process. And it can be a fun one or a troubling one. Either way, it’s an adventure.

Write the book you want to read. Introduce the characters you wish you knew, or maybe wish you were.

And don’t let that train stop even if everyone on board wants to get off.

16 thoughts on “Guest Post: “Writing Cramps” by Christina Hart

  1. I think one of the best ways to not let that train stop is to work on my WIP each day. Some days that may only be 15 minutes (embarrassing, I know) though I always try for at least an hour. Many days it’s more. But even just a few minutes–a note added here, a character trait there–keeps the story alive in our minds so that it’s easier to jump back on the train the next day.

    Nice post. 🙂

    • Carrie-

      Writing even just fifteen minutes a day isn’t embarrassing at all! What matters is keeping it moving and you’re right, keeping it fresh in our minds and alive. Best of luck on your WIP, I’m sure you’ll finish it soon!


  2. I’ve sometimes found writing to be like riding a bike, like leading a horse to water, and even like wearing another man’s moccasins. Now after reading this post I can add running a damn marathon alone and riding a train to nowhere!

    Christina’s spot on.

    • G.B.-

      Writing is like so many different thing, isn’t it? I like your analogy of the writing process being like ‘leading a horse to water’. Thanks for taking the time to read this and respond.


      • And it doesn’t have to be a solitary act. The best kind of writing can be done when you’re collaborating with other writers, or engaging the advice and support from fellow writers.

  3. Hey Gus, take care of yourself. 🙂 I enjoyed reading your post, Christina. I love when my characters take off and lead the way. Sometimes I might have to smack a hero, but it’s all good! As long as one of us is leading. Time to catch the train again. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mary-

      Thanks for not only taking the time to read this but sharing your thoughts as well. Yes, it’s a shame when one has to smack the hero, but sometimes, we all need a good smack! Especially when it comes to writing and FINISHING something. Best of luck on your individual train!


  4. Today, I am sort of feeling like that “train dropped me off in the middle of nowhere”, so I needed this. Thanks Ms. Hart, and thanks to you as well Gus – I hope you are well.

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