Thursday, April 26, 2012

"W" is for Writer's Block

As I alluded to in yesterday's V post, I sometimes get writer's block.  I also call it word constipation.  There's something in there that needs to come out, but goddammit, it's not going to when you want it to.

If only it was this simple...

I know there's a lot of people who just assume that we can crank out words on demand.  "What's the big deal?  You have to get this manuscript done by the end of June, so you do it, right?"  Um, yes, but it's a bit more complicated than that.  Writer's block can come on for a number of reasons, and it's like someone has sucked the creativity right out of you.  Your characters can clam up, stress can take over your life, you reach some kind of plot roadblock, etc.

But there are ways around it.  There was a pretty good workshop on writer's block at the RWA conference last year, and while I don't have my notes handy, I do remember that one thing they suggested was to do something else for a while.  Something completely not related to writing or your story.  That does help a lot for me.  Another tip was to do something related to your story, but in a different medium...perhaps you can draw a sketch of a scene or character, or make a collage of things that happen in your story or character traits one of your protagonists have.  Brainstorming, too.  Just come up with random ways one of your characters could react to something, or how they'd solve a problem.  Any one of these methods could help your creative juices begin to flow again.

What do you do to combat writer's block?

xoxo Sarah

17 comments:

  1. This year, April has been wall-to-wall Writers Block. *sigh*
    (love Calvin and Hobbes, btw)

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  2. I've never really dealt with true writer's block. My biggest problem is finding the time to write when I already am inspired and have something to write.

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    1. Very true. It's good to keep a notepad (or multiples) around the house or nearby for when the inspiration strikes but time is limited.

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  3. I do housework. I put on my headphones, listen to instrumental music and do the dishes and scrub the bathroom and whatever else needs to be done. It usually works well and quickly too. Mostly, I think, because I hate doing housework.

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    1. Great strategy! Often when we're doing something we hate, our brains make us want to do anything else, including kicking writing during writer's block.

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  4. I don't have time for no writer's block!

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    Replies
    1. Me either! That's why it sucks so badly when it does come.

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  5. I had a wise English prof say, "You should write about the block-what it feels like, what it looks like..." Funny enough, that seems to work. It's like a frustrated writer's gripe, but the exercise of it gets the gears in my head moving. Although, I do also agree that you should step back when you can. Clearing your head is another good way to deal.

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    1. Definitely! And I haven't heard that one, but it's a great tip!

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  6. Actually taking part in this Blogging from A to Z Challenge has helped me with writer's block. I hope that it remains unblocked into May or I may have to do the entire alphabet over again. Sheesh! I've enjoyed your blog and will definitely continue reading it. You're in my "bookmarks" area now. Happy blogging for the remainder of April and beyond.

    www.dianeweidenbenner.com

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you've enjoyed my blog and the A-Z Challenge. :-)

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  7. I force myself to write something, no matter what! I love the comic...good post. Just stopping by from the Challenge...
    Http://4ambassadorsofchrist.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! Writing something, no matter what it is, is a great strategy. Even if you get out a blog entry instead of working on your MS...at least it's writing!

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  8. Funny! I think Calvin has put one of those on my desk too!

    ScribblesFromJenn
    Happy A to Z-ing!

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    1. They do come up once in a while! I'd like to think they come from Calvin...oddly enough, an example of fantastic writing. I love that comic.

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