There’s a lot of advice out there on how to overcome writer’s block. Purdue OWL has, of course, a resourceful article you can access by clicking here. And just about every blogger dedicated to writing has posted an idea or two on how to outsmart this road block of discouragement. Among some of the more traditional advice, I’ve found four particular ideas very helpful:
1. Take a break. Stop thinking about writing. Take a shower. Or do some yoga. Or go for a walk. Get rid of all the pressure you feel to write and wait, passively, for something to occur to you. It will happen. And when it does, it will be genius!
2. Free-write. Ramble away at an irrelevant subject, or a plethora of irrelevant subjects. It’s fun and it warms up your writing muscles.
3. Respond to a writing prompt of your choice.
4. Change your location. Take your laptop outside or set up in another room. Go to the basement, or the roof, or to the park, or sit lakeside.
But, like all advice, this caters to the majority and while helpful, doesn’t always solve the problem. For me, writer’s block happens when I just don’t know what to write next or when I’m not in the mood to write anything… which usually happens when I don’t know what to write next. To rectify this, I ask myself the initial question: Why is it important that I write what comes next now?
We think in linear terms. Look at the timeline. It’s just a straight line. But we know everything in nature is cyclical, so why isn’t it a circle? History repeats itself, or so they say… but how can it when we never revisit where we’ve been? Likewise, every year we repeat the seasons, the months, the phases of the moon. But we don’t think of the New Year as coming around the bend; we think of it as starting over. Back at the beginning of the line.
It is in this respect that I often feel I need to write from beginning to end. Obviously, I get stuck. And because I don’t know what comes next, I stop writing. But what about skipping ahead? Jotting down a conversation I want my characters to eventually have, or even writing the ending? One time I abandoned my story and wrote the introduction to its nonexistent prequel. The story will come together when I organize it, and I can do that at any time. Right now it’s more important that I write, write, write.
What if you don’t know what happens in the future, either? What if your mind is blank, blank, blank?
This happens, too, and when it does, I make something absurd up. Sometimes the absurdity gets rewritten into the story somehow, sometimes it gets discarded, and sometimes it gets pushed into another project. Regardless of the outcome, it serves its purpose as the tool that cuts through the unrelenting heavy chain that swings between my willing mind and my writing goal.
What about you? What cures have you found for writer’s block?
- Writer’s Block (writerswritedaily.wordpress.com)
- Writer’s Block? (monalisareflections.wordpress.com)
- Sarah Moon and the Writer’s Block Redemption (moonchild11.wordpress.com)
- An Alternate View of Writer’s Block (bardicblogger.wordpress.com)
- Writers Block (realityorfantasyy.wordpress.com)
- Overcoming the evils of writer’s block! (sunshinesbloginsanity.wordpress.com)
- Random Whimsy – Treating Writers Block (emilyandthelime.wordpress.com)
- Writer’s Block: Inspiration No More (thecreativescribbler.wordpress.com)
- Writing Tips Wednesday – Writer’s Block? Seriously? (davefarmersblog.wordpress.com)
- Trying to Unblock & Prevent Writer’s Block (marcia-richards.com)