For many of us Writers Block can be a devastating state of affairs. We sit and look at a blank screen or sheet of paper. We procrastinate. Check our messages. Cruise social media. Trying to find a spark somewhere.
The spark never comes. Or maybe it has and we just didn't see it because we are so stressed on what we need to do. Aha! That is the key there. You are stressed. When under stress our thinking becomes narrowed. It's all black and white. No grey area. Either this way or that.
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Here is what I have learned from research and practice when I suffer from Writers Block:
- I do nothing. Yep, I acknowledge that I am in a block and do nothing. It's kinda like being caught in a rip-tide. You struggle and still get pushed out to sea. If you relax, then swim parallel to the shoreline, you will get out of the tide. Doing nothing gives you the opportunity to clear your mind of the stress you are under.
- Now I write. But I don't write for the assignment. I write my thoughts, what is happening in my head. The writing usually turns to the challenge at hand. So I keep writing, I am writing idea snippets. Nothing with structure. Just write. At this point I am brainstorming. No judgement of good idea or bad, just ideas.
Then, all of a sudden…
It happens. One of those snippets gives me an AHA! moment and I realize. This is where I will start, this is a great set-up for the hook at the end, this is what will engage the reader. I scurry to continue writing and writing and sooner rather than later, I have a finished manuscript. Sure editing will be required.
Have you ever noticed that writers block usually happens in STARTING a project. I don't recall getting blocked when it comes to editing.
The challenge is, we think we have to start at the beginning. We stress ourselves out to make it right the first time. But that is not necessarily the case. For example. This paragraph was initially written as the third paragraph. However, it fits better here.
I am sure this practice will help and if you are ever in trouble and need a creative spark, give me a ring. I would be happy to add fuel to your fire.
- Illustration from and old AC Spark Plugs advertisement.