Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Upside of Wrtier's Block

The Upside of Writer's Block

Writer's Block - It happens to all of us.

It's a bit like erectile dysfunction. Unexpected and bloody annoying.

Taken in the right frame of mind, however, it can be very useful.

Everyone needs a holiday, and if you think of writer's block in terms of time-out to regroup your creativity, then it's not such a bad thing.

Maybe, all your brain needs is a change of direction.

Each day for about an hour I walk my two dogs, Marisol and Lorca. This time out from writing, gives me the opportunity to rethink what I have written that morning. Writer's block is like my dog walking, it gives you valuable thinking time, and a break from the intensity that writing a novel, an article, a poem or a short story, demands of your creative juices.

Considering writer's block to be a mini-holiday, stopping your brain from exploding, changes it from a bad thing to a good thing.

The reason you get writer's block in the first place is because the creative part of your brain is totally full. It needs to have an ideas clear out.

If like me, you are a compulsive writer, and by compulsive I mean, you have to write every day, and if possible, most of the day. It's only natural for the mind to say, 'Enough. I need a break.' and if you, like me, are in the habit of ignoring this plea for mercy, then that creative part of your brain will rebel, go on strike, and shutdown.

Can you avoid writer's block? I think to a point you can. It's not easy though. We, you, are in the midst of the best prose you have ever written, are you going to stop? Stupid question really – the answer is – an emphatic – NO. You keep writing and writing until wham --- nothing of any value is being written down, then you don't have a choice, you have to stop.

So, here you are, looking at the screen with not a single useful thought in your head.

How to overcome this situation. Trust me it takes more than a walk with the dogs.

You need a strategy.

And you need to ignore the twitch in your fingers that says, I need to type. You don't. Well you do, but you shouldn't.

What you should do. Is forget that you are a writer. Become, something else. Anything else. Just not a writer.

Reading other peoples books is a great way to get your thoughts back in gear. Don't read your usual choice of genre. Choose one that is completely out there for you.

If you don't normally read crime novels, then read them.

If you are not the romantic type, force yourself to be.

Why do this? It forces your mind out of it's normality. If you write Paranormal, and you read only paranormal books, then there is no respite for your poor saturated paranormal soaked brain.

And, if like me, you are a multi-genre reader, choose the genre you read the least.

Do the things you have been meaning to do, but have never got around to doing, housework usually comes to my mind.

I love this quote from J.K. Rowling, asked how she managed to fit in working, being a single mother, and write her first Harry Potter book, she replied, “I didn't do any housework for four years.” My kind of girl, J.K. Rowling.

There is no point in sitting staring into space trying to conjure up your next chapter. If it's not there. It's just not there.

Take a break from the guilt trip of – 'I should be writing.' If you can't think of anything to write, then there is no point in trying to force something that isn't going to come.

Get up from your chair, close the lid on your laptop, and stop thinking about your work in progress – it not progressing, so why waste your time beating your head against a brick wall.

There is lot of articles on the net about writer's block. They all have their different theories as to why it happens, and how to overcome it.

In the end – it's yourself, who will overcome this lack of creativity. And you will overcome it in your own individual way.

The theorists blame a myriad of things, from distraction, to needing to download their solution to writer's block software, as the reason you are not writing.

Could it be that your brain is tired? You are sick of writing? Take a break – stop worrying why your creativity has dried up, and get on with other things.

It is said that when you stop looking for something – it will often find you.
For some reason my creative ideas usually resurface when I am up to my elbows covered in soapsuds doing the washing up. I'll not have been thinking about my novel being stuck in a grove, then bam, out from the ideas section of my mind, comes the best line I have ever thought of. I have to rush to dry my hands, before this most stupendous idea is lost back into the fog of my over active imagination. It's why I don't have a dishwasher.

Dictionaries define, writer's block, as a physiological inhibition preventing a writer from proceeding with a piece of work.

Physiological my arse. Boredom more like.

Your brain is sick to death of having to keep coming up with words that make some kind of sense, to a storyline you have agonised over, until the proverbial cows have come home.

Relax that poor overheated mind of yours. Take a rest from writing, go do something else, and let the flow come back – because it will, in it's own good time. You can't rush it. So don't try. Wait patiently. If all else fails --- try washing up.

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