October 25, 2012

Writer's Block: Myth or Nagging Issue?

Writer's block.  If you want to be any type of writer some day, those words probably send chills up your spine.  But what is it truly?  I've heard published authors say it doesn't really exist.  Some will say it's an impossible hurdle.  Others claim there are different types.  I tend to agree with the first and the third.  Writer's block comes in two different types, according to Ally Carter (I will post the link to the page where I got this info at the end of this blog post): "can't get off the couch" and "your book is wrong".

In the first, it's basically when you've lost your will to write for the time-being.  In those instances, you need to write through and become a stronger, more persistent human being.  Turn off your Internet, put someone else in charge of your cell phone, get rid of all distractions!  If you need to research, either go to the library or make sure you stay on task on the Internet.  There's nothing like Googling how the Empire State Building was made and then getting sidetracked by reading about famous movies that feature said building.  If the ideas just aren't flowing, there are things that can help.  Eat "brain" food, stuff that fuels your energy.  Exercise, whether it's a walk, a swim, playing a pick-up game of basketball, whatever!  Take a shower.  That one's a bit weird, but seriously.  Who doesn't spend most of their shower contemplating various random thoughts.  It's a good time to drum up story ideas.  Just make sure you don't lose 'em before you can write the ideas down!  Read a book.  Often reading someone else's writing encourages me.  Listen to good music, nothing worthless (that means no "Call Me Maybe").  Listen to something more thought-provoking like, yes, Taylor Swift (I had to include her somehow!), or Christian songs, or Kelly Clarkson, or Carrie Underwood, or Adele, or show tunes, or...I could go on forever.  Just something that fits your mood and maybe your book theme.

But now for writer's block numero deux (number two).  You're having trouble with your book itself.  Scenes feel forced.  Your characters are turning dull.  Whereas Type One has easy fixes and can be written through, Type Two must be written around.  So take a step back.  Maybe you need to remove a scene.  No matter how good it sounds, it probably doesn't fit the direction of your story or it can't segue into some more interesting stuff.  This one can also be helped by reading and music, along with a change of scenery (which could also be useful in Type One).  If you always write at a desk, move your paper or laptop (hopefully you don't use a desktop...) to a comfy rug or the library or your backyard.  Just make sure there's nothing too distracting around you.  You could also be totally cliche and go to a coffee shop.  Wear hipster glasses, order a latte, and write feverishly-people will be impressed! ;)

And never forget to have fun.  If you're not enjoying your novel, no one else will, and that's bad.


1 comment:

  1. Ah yes! Somehow I missed this post the first time around, but great tips for those *cough, cough like me, cough* who are suffering from writers block...


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