The title of this post may be a bit misleading because I haven’t got a clue as to how to deal with something like this. Writer’s block, that is.
I do have a few tips though, but they may not be very good. I’ll discuss them toward the end of this post.
I have been writing for a number of years now. I’ve written dozens of articles, thousands of blog posts and one and a half pieces of fiction. The first piece of fiction, in my opinion, is a work of art. I’m sure that if I went back to read it again though, I’d disagree wholeheartedly. I’m confident I can expand upon the story to blossom it into a wonderful piece, and I may do that someday, but for now, we’ll consider it my first work of art. And we’ll call it that not because of what it is, but what it has the potential to become. The story’s there.
My second piece of fiction, and we’ll focus on fiction here because it’s more relevant to real writing, is about two thirds completed. I worked like a slave to write the entire first draft and then to edit the first twenty out of thirty two sections. And that’s when I hit a brick wall.
Now, I’m not blaming this on Spring. I’m not at all, but I will say that it may be more than a coincidence that each and every Spring, I get really demotivated. I get tired and I get lazy. Regarding my blog posts, they all but dry up. Regarding my fiction, it’s dead in the water. Not only that, but when I even think about cracking open the story I’m working on, I roll my eyes and want to curl up in a corner. It’s odd. I get an overwhelming feeling that really hits my chest.
I guess this is what they call writer’s block.
I did a search for the condition on Wikipedia just a few minutes ago and it confirmed what I was thinking. Go ahead and take a look at the page here and see for yourself. I’d say it’s uncanny. First because they say the “author loses the ability to produce new work” and then because they say, “some blocked writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers.”
That’s a shame. Because there are so many talented writers out there and also because writing is severely therapeutic. Personally speaking, it’s good for my soul and good for my heart.
Wikipedia also goes on to say that some writers give of the craft because they think of their work as inferior, which is often not the case. I would agree with the writers here because I’ve felt that way on occasion. I plow through it though, because I’ve stopped considering other people’s feelings long, long ago. If Poe wrote what he felt people wanted to read, he may not have written anything at all. He didn’t write for people and now we have Poe to appreciate.
I don’t want to get off track here, because what my goal is for this post is to gather a general sense of what writer’s block is and how people deal with it. I’d love to see comments describing what has afflicted you and how you’ve gotten past it, if you have.
But for now, I’ll just give a few tips on how I deal with writer’s block. And these are only marginally effective because I’ve put my piece of fiction on hold. My blogging is beginning to crawl from slumber though.
1. I like to read something I have previously written. If I am trying to forge ahead to write a new blog post, I’ll read a few of my favorites from the past. If I’m trying to continue with a longer piece, I’ll read previous sections of the same piece.
2. I like to listen to moving music. There are a few talented artists who really inspire me to write. Gotye (documentary), Tears For Fears (Roland Orzabal), Bon Iver, The Verve (Richard Ashcroft), Manic Street Preachers, Empire of the Sun and a few more. These artists are a huge inspiration. Reading some of their lyrics helps as well.
3. I like to exercise before I sit down to write. If I eat something and do a short workout to get my blood flowing, I find that I have a much easier time thinking.
4. I like to write at night. For some reason, writing at night really helps me. Thinking that the world is sleeping assists in the loneliness that writing aches for.
5. I like to take photos and then write “around” them. This is especially true for blogging. I’ve found that writing around a picture really stirs up my creative juices.
Now, like I said earlier, these have only been marginally effective because, again, I can’t seem to pick up where I left off on my latest piece of fiction. I can feel it coming back to me though because the pollen of Spring may be disappearing. I can feel myself waking up and if I’m careful, I may just finish that piece after all.