Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Busting Down That Writer's Block!

Oh my goodness! More than two postings this week! But I decided I needed to write something worth while, other than promoting my upcoming chats and books.
Today's subject is getting past that writer's block. Most of the time I can pull a story idea out of my head like a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat. I don't know why, or even how, but writing down stories has never been hard for me. The only time I had a dang writer's block was when I worked for Ukrops in one of their supermarkets, in the bakery. And the only reason I can figure out is why, is I would work one day at closing, be there the next morning super early in the morning, the next day work in mid-afternoon, etc.... That I didn't havea set schedule. Whatever the case, those seven years with Ukrops had blocked the voices in my head. I'm not complaining about working for Ukrops--they're a great company to work for and I worked with cool co-workers--but still, it gave me the only writer's block I ever had. When I quit in November 1997, I began writing again.
But for many out there, it's not that simple. Maybe if I'd tried the exercises below the seven-year writer's block would have been broken. So for those who want some ways to combat the blaock, try them.
Here are some simple ways to fight writer's block:
(1) Take a break for a few days or a week and do something else not related to writing at all. Watch a movie on DVD or video--shoot, I've gotten many great story ideas of some character or somehting in a film! Come back after that break--that may be all you needed.
(2) Leave the story or novel that has you stumped and start on another story or novella or even the beginning of another novel, until finally you've been away enough to go back and resume working on it.
(3) Try playing a game, taking five different words out of the dictionary and see what you can write up in 1,000 words or less with them. You can do this in a writer's group too, with other writers.
(4) Keep assorted things by your computer on the desk.Like pictures, statues, stuffed animals, and things like that. You'll be surprised what cool ideas they can give you.
(5) Every day--even if it's not your story or novel--write down one line. It doesn't have to be about a story, maybe actually what scares you deep down inside, even the writer's block. Sometimes, it doesn't have to be about publication, and not because it's your best story, but what's hovering in your mind that you need to set free. That one line will get you writing and free up the clutter in your mind. Just doing some kind of writing will loosen the writing juices, get them flowing, and before long you'll find yourself writing beyond that one line as a germ of an idea takes off and when you finally halt, discovered that you had wrote an entire short story, novella, maybe even a novel. As for those other one lines you wrote, store them in a file and they'll be there for you to go over later, and one of them will set fire to your mind and you'll add on to that one line, making another story.
(6) Write down in a journal or notebook, the scariest tales inside all of us wanting to be told. The ones that terrify us. After all, before you can write what you want to write, you got to sweep away those stories hidden in the abandoned, dark corners of your mind to make space. I bet before long. good, fresh stories will come flowing from your brain to your fingertips typing on the keyboard to the monitor in front of you.
Sometimes that writer's block may be your brain telling you that you're writing the wrong story. It wouldn't be a bad story, just not the one that needs to be told at that moment. Try some of the suggestions I've given, one of them will give you that spurt of creativity you've been searching for.
Now get writing!

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