Sunday 21 August 2016
Inside The Author: Dealing With Writer's Block
DEALING WITH WRITER'S BLOCK
I think every profession that deals with some kind of creative outlet has a word like "writer's block". For artists it's something, and for crafty people, it's something else. For me, and many writers like me, it's that darned writer's block. I've written pieces on it before my blog, but I thought it would be a good idea to visit again. Everyone who relies on some kind of inspiration to get their work done has their own tricks to get past the road block that it puts up in your mind. Here are some of mine.
#1 - TAKE A STEP BACK
I know that sometimes when I have difficulty moving past a scene or knowing where to go next with a story, that if I take a step back I am sometimes able to work it out and move past it. Sometimes that means closing the file on my computer and doing something completely different and other times it means just giving myself a few minutes to breathe. Once you've gotten more adept at working out which one you need to do, you'll find you're able to choose the better option for each situation.
#2 - GIVE MYSELF TIME
Another big one for me is that when I'm about to fall asleep, my brain seems to go a million miles an hour and I find that I'm thinking about the scene I've been working on, or sometimes one that's coming up that I've been worried about. In the land between sleep and awake, I seemed to be better equipped to deal with the problems I'm facing in my writing. The only annoying thing about that is sometimes I think something through, go to sleep and then when I wake up in the morning I know that I found a solution, I just can't remember the bloody thing!
#3 - LET MY MIND WANDER
You have the chance to work through issues when you're doing other mundane things like emptying the dishwasher or watching a TV show that you're only watching because you have a nine year old who loves Animal Planet. While you're doing your daily exercise at the gym, or queuing up to pay for your shopping. All of these are great opportunities to let yourself think about different scenarios for your story. Sometimes all it takes is a little time to think, when you don't have to be concentrating on something else.
And finally, #4 - TRY DIFFERENT "DOORS"
You know how in some old movies or TV quiz shows they would have doors that someone had to choose and no one really knew what was behind each door. You can do that while blocked as well. Nothing is set in stone and so if you do decide to open door number one and find that it ends in a way that you don't like, nothing is stopping you from changing your mind and going through door number two. You have as many doors as you can think of and maybe you'll find that it doesn't follow your plan, but it takes you somewhere completely different and allows you to either get back on track or sends you down a different path.
So, yes, writer's block will happen. It will also drive you insane when you feel like all you have to do is write and you can't, however, once you get to grips with why you're blocked, there are numerous ways to think or write your way out of it. I know that there have been times that I have backed myself into a corner and then managed to get out of it after I've spent a few days, weeks or even months really thinking about it. Like the frozen lakes in Spring, everything has to melt at some point.
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