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Tearing Down Writer's Block, Brick by Stupid Brick

Updated on March 8, 2010

I've been infected!

Oh the frustration of writer's block... I have been afflicted. My creativity has been muffled, and all the write words are floating out of reach in outer space, near Pluto I think. Fortunately my case of writer's block hasn't quite affected my quantity output of hubs on hubpages. But although I almost never run out of ideas for hubs, still I feel like my hub quality is lacking something lately. The worst of it is, writer's block has been affecting my fiction writing. I don't ever post fiction on hubpages, or you'd know what I mean. I have vague words and shadowy figures dancing quadrilles in my mind, but I can't figure out how to write them all down. Like that story about the mashed potatoes from KFC... I'm still stuck at that spot when - but I probably shouldn't tell you. At any rate, I feel like inspiration packed his bags and moved away, leaving me behind with an insecure imagination.

Despite my lack of creativity lately, I still have that stubborn streak. I can't let it go. Never! So with a thousand blank pages and a thousand unwritten stories, I contemplate my dilemma. How do I get out of this seemingly bottomless pit of writer's block, write the next best thing in American literature, and still retain my sanity? Honestly I'm not quite sure. But I've been trying all sorts of writer's block cures, and I believe they've helped me. Of course, it's my readers who will have the ultimate decision of whether or not my writing is any better. Here are some tips to overcome writer's block.

writer's block

I even let my flower die
I even let my flower die

Break Your Computer

When my creative vibes get blocked, I often waste my time on the computer. Between emails, twittering, facebooking, hubpages (yes, sometimes I get overly obsessed with this wonderful website) etc. etc. etc., a whole day can fly away with not much to show for it except a lack of exercise and a profusion of immaterial electronic illusions. So perhaps it was a blessing when my computer died (again!) the other day. I have been forced to get off the internet and see the world again. Oh, hello world, I've missed you! Still, it is rather annoying when you have to borrow someone's Mac (with that rinkydink keyboard) to do the online necessaries. I like to think my lovely pc has been inflicted with a strain of writer's block too, and it will be up and running after a good deal of rest.

Computer Connections by Petr Kratochvil
Computer Connections by Petr Kratochvil

Take a Hike

...Or a walk. Walking makes me feel like all my thoughts are released out of prison. Of course, all those jailbirds are so delirious with freedom that they run me ragged. It makes me feel like I'm having a hundred conversations with myself. This could be a bad thing, but I like to think that it helps my creativity. So when I need to clear my head, I take a walk, even if it means a walk in the rain. I really don't mind walking in the rain. Well, I don't mind until my fingers get chilly and I find myself crossing the street looking like a wet rat. That's when I feel like all those anonymous drivers are looking at me in condescending pity.

Laugh your way out of three in the afternoon

I hope I'm not the only one whose heart stops beating at precisely three in the afternoon. Maybe it has something to do with the heat, but I generally lose all of my energy in the afternoon. The smoldering moments creep on and the sun keeps on shining and I feel like absolutely nothing. Writing anything worth reading gets thrown out the window, and I sit and wait for... anything. It's good to take a break sometimes, and a good way to wile away the afternoon blues is to watch something that makes you laugh. I like to watch an an episode or two of "The Office". When no one and nothing can make me smile, Steve Carell can. All it takes is hearing the Office Theme Song. =D

Read a book for fun

Sometimes I can't watch "The Office." Like when my laptop dies - I'm sorry, I mean becomes ill - and I don't have access to technology. There's nothing like a good book to read, any time of the day. I'm hoping writer's block is only temporary; however, I am positive that book-addiction is, in my case, incurable. I was happy at the last used book sale I attended because I escaped with only six books, not my usual ten or fifteen. Reading helps expand your mental horizons; it gives you new ideas; it teaches you how to put words together. You can't be a writer unless you read.

there are mountains of books to read
there are mountains of books to read

Inspire yourself

In an attempt to inspire myself, I scavenged the garage for my old corkboard, cleaned it off, and decorated it with things that I find beautiful. It was really fun to put together. I put on Pandora radio, printed off some photos, and made my floor entirely messy. I decorated my corkboard with ocean-themed pictures, shells, and my favorite quotes. Now all I have to do is find wall space.

As I was working on my corkboard, I discovered my old shell collection growing old in the closet. I pulled some out and decorated my windowsill with them. Now I have fragments of the sea all around me.

Turn up the music

Music is the universal language. A lot of my inspiration (when it isn't out of town) comes from the music I listen to. I'm a picky listener I guess, but maybe that's because the lyrics are so important to me. If I can't connect, I can't listen. Music is an art, and the world needs more musicians who are true artists. Regina Spektor is one such musician. Listening to her songs is like reading amazing short stories. She inspires me.

Write write write

It seems like I always hear writers giving the advice to write every day. And I think they're right. You don't have to write a complete story every day, or add another flawless chapter to your book every day. Just write a little. Write an email. Write a poem. Write your name on the tree in the backyard. The point is, write. If you are a writer, writing should become as regular as eating breakfast: it's good for you.

Start a blog

Like I said before, writer's block seems to be affecting me more in fiction than in nonfiction. If you are having trouble in one genre, try another. A good way to start something new and to keep your mind going is to start a blog. Blogs are easy to get started and keep updated. It doesn't take much time, and you can write whatever you want. The possibilities are endless.

The End

I feel so much better now! I might even take a stab at that mashed potatoes story. It's good to take a break sometimes, but it's back to the writing tablet for me. If you've survived this long and read all my ramblings, thank you. Procrastination, like sarcasm, is an art form. To do it right, you need imagination.

Do you suffer from writer's block?

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