Every writer experiences Writer's Block at some point in their creative life but don't get down if you find yourself floundering with, what seems like, no handhold. I for one have encountered this terrifying phenomenon numerous times, lurking in the recesses of my mind and threatening to devour every creative thought. It is a monster with quite the appetite and seems to grow stronger the longer one mulls over it.
So, there is your answer: don't give the Writer's Block attention. It is quite simple really. You might be shaking your head at the screen right now, thinking to yourself, "It isn't that simple," but truly it is once you know how. For the rest of this entry I'm going to run through a few ways which have helped me leap over the hump in the road known as the Writer's Block.
Number 1. Get away.
This is the easiest way to leave Writer's Block behind you and it can be done in a number of ways. The first step is to get away from the computer or the notebook or wherever you are writing. Second is up to you. You can go for a jog; not only will this clear your head but will make you feel energized and get those creative juices flowing. Another option is to do something relaxing that you love. This could be reading, listening to music, or drawing. I find those three activities extremely helpful. Reading your favourite book allows you to escape the world of your own writing and reboot your imagination as you picture the scenes the words depict. Listening to music often triggers my mind in to visualizing scenes from my writing and also new, in fact the initial idea for my novel Sky Stone arose while listening to music. Drawing is a recent pastime I have discovered. You don't have to be a particularly good artist for this help take your mind off of the Writer's Block. I enjoy drawing my own characters. Not only does this give me a visual reference of the characters but my mind begins to imagine new scenes they could be drawn in, and hence, new scenes to write about. Take a bath, make a cup of tea, make small talk with a friend, you could probably come up with hundreds of ways the get away.
Number 2. Jump ahead.
If getting away doesn't dislodge the claws of Writer's Block then you may have to leave that section of writing for a little while longer. Give your mind some time to think things through while you're not battering on its door looking for answers. The idea here is that you jump ahead (or back) to a future chapter in your novel and start writing. Most novelist have a few scenes stored in the back of their heads waiting to flow out in word form. Keeping a notebook nearby at all times allows you to jot down any sudden ideas you may have and call back on them when need be. I have employed this technique while working on my latest novel Guardian Core. This may be difficult if you are not writing a novel although starting up a new project, be it a short story or poem, may get past this issue.
Number 3. Read back.
When you literally have zero ideas and even jumping ahead isn't possible then you may need to read back. By going back over your novel you can reacquaint yourself with your characters and perhaps spark that needed flame of creativity. As an added bonus you get to proof read what you have already written and make it perfect (I know, I know, the dreaded 'proof reading').
I hope this helps some of you who have been grappling with the author's worst nightmare, the Writer's Block.
Do you have any other ways of dealing with Writer's Block?
Scarlett Van Dijk
Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Other great articles on getting past writers block:
7 Ways to Overcome Writers Block - Writer's Digest
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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