Saturday, October 6, 2012

Writer's Block


We all have those days. When we just can't write. Everything seems to be toppling over each other and the ideas get stuck in our head. We are so tied up mentally, we can't even think. Our mind is numb. Our heads hurt. All we want to do is just be done. For good.

Writing is my 6th sense.

I carry a piece of notebook paper and a pencil with me everywhere I go. In my purse. In my pocket. To work. To friend's houses. I can't escape it. I don't want to. It is a part of me, deep down.

And yet, the time comes when you stare at a page, filled with tiny, mixed up black letters, and nothing comes.

Where to go next, your mind races. Where to go next. Do we start a new adventure? Do we add a new character? Do we roll down a cliff? Do we sail on the sea?

Quest for storyline is one of my biggest challenges.

Writer's block is my biggest enemy.

And so I will offer my first bit of advice:

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All it takes is sitting down, setting your fingers against the keypad, and letting them fly. You don't have to know where you are going next. Just let the characters lead. Some of the best stories come from undeveloped idea's that flow out from the spur of the moment. Who knew the enemy would jump out just then? Who knew it was time to catapult that friend into a tree? Who knew sickness was so contagious to those made of paper and ink.

But this I do know:

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Set the mind to the task. Let it soar on the wings of imagination. Create, design, inspire, renew.... The world is at your fingertips. You just have to decide how to use it. Everything is story fabric, if we just learn to use it. Stitch it together in such a way, that no one will ever recognize the seam.

So I have found that often times, the way to erase writers block is by just writing.

It doesn't have to be where I am in the book. It doesn't have to be poetic or pretty. It can read like an obnoxious donkey for all I have to care. Just get it out. Let the words take shape. And they will find their way. It will come back.

Another method I use to conquer writers block is Pinterest. The inspiration and idea's I get from scrolling through the pages of pictures is overwhelming. Stories grow, spring to life, scream in my mind to be let loose. By one simple picture, my imagination is released and courses through my whole being.

A second and favorite way to conquer writers block is to pick up a beloved book and lose myself in its pages. Words, tantalizing, vivid, intense, spring from the page and help me to remember ideas and thoughts I had for my own book. There are several books to which I always go to when I find myself lost for what to write. All it takes to unlock the soul and spirit of the author deep down inside me is a well written book. It molds my creativity and carries all the mental blockage away.

One last thing: a friend of mine is hosting a first time ever book giveaway at her blog, The Writer's Lair. October 16th is Dictionary Day (hurrah! I LOVE the dictionary) and she is giving away Barbara Ann Kipfer's Flip Dictionary. In order to enter to win, all you must do is hop on over to her blog (the link is the one I put up here on Stories in the Mind) and "join" her blog and then follow the rules on the page. I can't wait to see who ends up with this splendid book!

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  1. Ack, writers block is a pain. I thought I'd have it permenantly a few years back, but now I'm writing again! Wha-hoo! :P It's funny though, I NEED to know where I'm going when I'm writing. I don't like to waffle. But you're right, if writers block is killing you the best way to crack it is to write. Loooove the quotes. :)

  2. I love your line "Set the mind to the task. Let it soar on the wings of imagination. Create, design, inspire, renew.... The world is at your fingertips." It is why I started writing even though I use to be a photographer and you summed it up so perfectly. The need to create and work with what you got. Lovely post!

  3. This is great! I've been in a bit of writer's block recently. Normally I just try to write it away, but I finally realized that your second solution: reading, was what I needed. It feels like a long time since I've read a good book, a really good book. So I'm out to find one. :)