Sunday, September 18, 2016

Writers corner: The dreaded writers block

                        Writers block

                                                How to push through it, or go around it.

Starting today I will be trying to publish writing tips for my new section entitled writers corner. I will try to post to Writers corner once a week or maybe bi-weekly depending on the interest shown.

   Writers block according to the great Wikipedia, writer's block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. This is something that has happened to every writer at some point. You are sitting there in front of the computer, chipping away at the word count and BAM! 26,892 words in, you are a third of the way in to your book, and you're stuck. Everything up to this point has been flowing like water, but this scene has you stumped, or you just can not find the transition to the next part, your dialogue fell flat and you can not think of a single witty thing to write now. I decided to scour the internet for all of the relative tips I could find on solving this problem, and yes it is because I am stuck in the scene I am currently writing. However if I can help myself and you at the same time all the better, don't you think?
Lets start with some common causes of the dreaded writers block.

Common causes of writer’s block

The reasons for your block may vary, but some common ones include:
  • Timing: It’s simply not the right time to write. Your ideas may need to stew a little longer before writing them down.
  • Fear: Many writers struggle with being afraid, with putting their ideas (and themselves) out there for everyone to see and critique. Fear is a major reason some writers never become writers.
  • Perfectionism: You want everything to be just right before you ever put pen to paper or touch a keyboard. You try to get it perfect in your head and never do, so you never begin.
Now these are not the only reasons sometimes you are just stuck for no apparent reason other than..

Let start with what not to do.

How to not overcome writer’s block

And just for fun, here are some anti-solutions to this problem:
  • You do not overcome writer’s block by refusing to write until you feel “inspired.”
  • You do not overcome writer’s block by wallowing in self-pity.
  • You do not overcome writer’s block by procrastinating or making excuses.
  • You do not overcome writer’s block by watching TV.
I wonder if writing a blog post should be on that list..hmmm
Now on to the tips.

The first set of tips comes from Brian Moreland, who writes novels and short stories of historical horror and supernatural suspense. 

Step away from whatever you’re writing and do anything that’s creative. Paint pictures, write poetry, design images in Photoshop, make a scrapbook or collage, or if you’re masculine, build something in the garage. Work on another creative project for a few hours or days and then go back to writing. When I’m stuck, I paint paintings or work on my website or blog. Jumping to other projects really activates my creativity. The key is to keep exercising the creative part of your brain and eventually you’ll tap back into the flow of writing.

Do freewriting. Spend 15 minutes or more a day writing whatever comes off the top of your head. Ignore punctuation. Just write freely. Allow it to be totally random. You might change subjects many times. You might mix fiction with journaling or vent frustrations. The process trains your brain to tap into the words inside your head and gives them a place to live on your computer screen or journal. Do this for a week and then return to your writing project. An alternative is to freewrite 15-20 minutes to get your thoughts out and then immediately return to writing your book or article. Some of my freewriting entries inspired new ideas for my books.

Move your body. Dance, practice yoga or Tai Chi. This may sound funny, but when you get your body into flow, your mind follows. Meditate and take long, deep breaths. A relaxed mind is more open. An open mind is more imaginative. You can focus longer when you are in a peaceful state. Sometimes I step away from writing, do some yoga poses and breathing, then return to writing in a more creative state.

A few more tips I picked up from different sources are
  • Play.
  • Change your environment.
  • Read a book.
  • Listen to music
  • Brew some coffee
 The point is that you need to shake things up, don't just sit there waiting on your muse to strike. Dance, run, read, rub your lucky charm while drinking a cup of coffee and offering a sacrifice to the writing gods, or just write random crap until you break through. But DO something or that simple block might just turn into a dam.
That is all for today on writers corner. I hope this helped some of you I know it helped me. Now I am off to sacrifice a honey bun to the writing gods and get back to writing.
Until Later,
The Pirate Wench