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How To Defeat Writer's Block Once and For All
There Is No Cure
It’s amazing to me at times the number of writers who say they have writer’s block. There seems to be an epidemic of late, and my heart goes out to all of you. You love to write but you have a thousand pound gorilla squeezing your head and not an intelligent thought can escape. It must be painful indeed.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for writer’s block. There is no magical elixir that will instantly free your mind and allow your creative juices to flow. There are, however, some little tricks you might try the next time that gorilla comes a’calling. Try the following on for size and see if they help.
CARRY A NOTEBOOK
I learned this lesson sixteen years ago and I still believe in it. Wherever I go I have a notebook and my digital camera with me. I am an observer and I believe most writers are as well. We watch life. We are the eyes, ears and nose of the Arts. We observe, we experience and we relate those sensations through our words.
Life is all around us, but when our brains are in shut-down mode it is hard to see life. That’s why I have my notebook. I might see a particularly odd looking person while at the grocery store (certainly at WalMart). I jot down a note about that person. I might see a beautiful tree or a lovely newborn fawn, and I snap their picture. I never know what is going to free up my brain and allow me to write, so I make sure I am ready when inspiration arrives.
LET THE MUSIC FLOW THROUGH YOU
Right now I am listening to “Sexy Sadie” by the Beatles. It is a song about disillusionment and being lied to, and that song was the impetus for my latest article on HubPages about being real in life and not living a life of lies and pretenses.
Music is like an aphrodisiac for a writer. All the arts are, really. A walk through an art museum triggers some wonderful memories for me, and music does the same. Put on some soft, tender music, or crank it up and listen to the Rolling Stones. Music has been so important to me that I can listen to an oldie and tell you exactly what I was doing at the time of that song’s release. Right there I have a reflective story.
TAKE RISKS AND CHANCES
If you want something to write about then try a new experience. Bev’s son recently started rock climbing. He is a musician and he says that the rock climbing has fueled a new enthusiasm for playing music. Makes sense to me since I know when I go out and do something I have never done before, my imagination is most definitely kick-started.
What have you always wanted to do but never did? It doesn’t have to be something huge like climbing Mt. Everest. Maybe you always wanted to take a class on cooking, or rollerskate with your five-year old. Stretch your limits and you will undoubtedly find a new story there.
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LET OTHERS DO YOUR WORK FOR YOU
In other words, read other authors, or if you prefer, steal from the competition.
I’m not real big on re-inventing the wheel, and quite frankly there are very few new things to write about. However, my perspective is always new no matter what I write about. No other writer has written about a subject in the way I will write about it. No matter how many people have written about a particular subject, you have the ability to give it new perspective.
So…..find out what others are writing about, and let them give you ideas on what to write about. Scan the internet and find out what is trending. One of my most-viewed articles is about a man named Arthur Boorman. I saw him on Yahoo, read his story about overcoming handicap, gave it a new angle and perspective and wrote a highly-successful article about hope and perseverance.
What really ticks you off? I am a firm believer in anger as a motivational tool. I’m also a believer in pain as a learning experience. J Think back to a time when you were red-faced livid. What caused it? How did you feel afterwards? What lessons did you learn? The same exercise can be used with painful experiences.
A few months ago some teenage boy flipped me off and yelled obscenities out his window at me over some parking lot disagreement. I used that experience to remember the times I had been rude to others, and there was an article about respecting each other.
ASK FOR HELP
I have no problem asking for help. How about you? Do you have someone who you respect who can give you some ideas? Bev is my go-to person whenever my brain resembles the Mohave Desert. She loves giving me ideas and then watching me create articles based on her ideas. It is a collaboration and one we do quite well.
Heck, go on Facebook and ask for ideas. You will receive more than you want in a matter of minutes, and some of them will be quite entertaining. J
Listen to a pro
GET IN TOUCH WITH NATURE
One trip to Mt. Rainier and I’m set for a number of articles. A picnic at the beach, a walk through the woods, they all feed my writer’s soul and allow ideas to be borne. Try it out. Sitting at a computer staring at the screen will unlock nothing but frustration. Get out and listen to the birds chirp. Watch those pesky squirrels scurry across the limbs of trees, defying gravity. There is a big world out there waiting for you to get with the natural program of life.
ALLOW FOOD TO FEED YOUR WRITER’S SOUL
This technique will not only unlock hidden ideas but it tastes oh so delicious. J Go have your favorite meal and savor the exquisite tastes that await you. Our senses are all tied up in this writing gig. The mind feeds off of the input we give it, and ideas will flow if we do our part. A happy tummy gives birth to a happy mind. You can quote me on that one, but if you gain fifty pounds using this suggestion please, don’t blame me.
Get the hell away from the computer and from your daily responsibilities. Go take a mini vacation or a prolonged vacation. Whatever the time span, get out and experience life away from writing. Give your mind a chance to rest up so it can come back revitalized. Run away from writing, and then come back ready to conquer the writing world.
Did these suggestions help?
Above All, You Need to Write
Who knows when the next great article or book will be born? It may be inside of you right now just waiting to break free, but it will never cast aside the chains if you don’t write.
Writers write! That is a truism that will never be outdated. This is our passion and that passion must be exercised on a regular basis. Artists paint and sculpt. Musicians play the notes. Writers write.
I wish for you a multitude of ideas. Find inspiration and then through your words give inspiration to others. We were born to do this so….let’s do it!
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)