Suffering From Writers Block?
How Do You Deal With Writer's Block?
It happened again today. This is my only day of the week with a few hours to spend towards my writing; all but for my creative juices to come up empty. I would lay around listening to my awkward music for inspiration, followed by sketching a few bizarre creatures. I then started to literally draw an entire town with concepts/ideas yet to be seen by the human architectural eye. Now I figured that could make a good article for Hubpages, until I realized I had yet another book on my hands. This brings me to my first strategy in how to deal with writer's block:
Let your left brain wander away, let your right brain finally wander free: This goes without saying, there's certain madness to creativity, and all writing is a creative. At times you have to let your rational thinking vacate your mind before you can come up with anything new. If you let your rational thinking gain too much control over you, I'm afraid your rational mind will merely repeat rationally over and over how you don't have any ideas. Instead, just relax, and listen to your funny music or draw some silly pictures until your rational mind set kicks in when it's actually useful. Writing is a whole-brain activity, while creativity is required for making the plots and content, in both fiction and non-fiction alike, ultimately it's our logical part of the brain that translates our creative thoughts into a language that people can understand.
If that doesn't work, as did with me today, because you find yourself going too far off on a tangent that can't fit within your immediate plans, then you must save that idea for another project and try another strategy. Is there an important skill you wish to learn? Asking this question is the second step towards alleviating writer's block. We all have skills we wish to learn that we haven't got around to learning. Why not start right now with the basics? Once you read the basics, you can then write an article on Hubpages that summarizes the basics that you've learned. Some people may even breathe a sigh of relief to find all the basics of a given subject matter all summarized in one neatly condensed article. You may help many people save a lot of time while learning something new in the meantime.
If you feel you don't have the time or energy right now to pick up a new skill to write about, ask yourself if there are common ideas you can combine and synergize into something useful or interesting? People often make the mistake of always seeking out an original idea. While this is commendable, it isn't realistic to come up with new ideas all of the time. Sometimes, if you combine two or more existing ideas together, you can create an unseen concept that you can write about, which can captivate the interest of many readers.
Taking the time to do some self-reflection can also help you to generate content. Is there a unique life experience you've had that you can write about? Sometimes, there is humour in everyday things that can certainly result in a few creative paragraphs. How about your relationships with people? If not people, consider your relationships with the land you live on, your health, your neighbourhood, your pets, your hobbies and interests, etc. Do you have any of those dark "internal conflicts" that goes on in your head? A creative use of internal self-conflict can make an entertaining read, especially when you give your conflicting inner thoughts each their own character in a fictional dialogue.
So the creativity isn't there no matter how hard you search in every angle. Maybe you're simply exhausted with the writing world and need a brisk jog just to keep in shape and practice. How about writing a review on a movie, a novel, a college you formally attended, a job you formally had with a certain company, or better yet, evaluate an individual Hubpager? In my opinion, Hubpages badly needs reviews on individual writers from the community.
Last but not least, if all else fails; you could do what I'm doing right now. Write an article on your struggles as a writer to come up with ideas. Bathe in your misery that is the isolation, the darkness, and the emptiness. Make a cryptic poem on the subject matter. Just don't get carried too far away, else you might get depressed. Remember, you're the one in control of your own body and mind. If you feel you're holding your breath too long diving into the deep end, you can always come back up for air.
Overcoming Writers Block When All Else Fails. . .
Finally, it's quite possible that despite going through all ideas I gave you to come up with ideas, you're still running blank. Maybe you just need a break? Understand that a writer isn't a regular nine to five job, the break could be anywhere from fifteen minutes to several weeks. How much time you put into your writing doesn't matter, unlike the corporate world, individual writing is truly a case of quality over quantity.
I will go on to say how you spend your off hours as a person is perhaps the most important decision you'll make as a writer. My advice would be to play. The fact that children spend a lot of time playing, and always seem to come up with creative stories for everything imaginable, should give you a clue how important playing is to a writer. Now I'm not saying you necessarily need to start playing with Lego (although it certainly couldn't hurt), but you need to come up with some playful activities to pass the time when blighted with writers block. Remember, the ability to write will always be there; there's no rush. Give yourself the time that you need. Once you feel refreshed, then sit down and see what you can come up with. . .
-Donovan D. Westhaver