posts tagged "block"

I really love ur writing! where do u get ur motivation and inspiration? how do u overcome Writer's Block...?

This gets asked a lot, so I usually just direct people: here! (:

            As for overcoming writer’s block, there really is no definite cure for this one. From my own experience, I have three ways to unclog the gears in my head without ramming a pencil in my ear out of desperation.

            The first would be (and I know you don’t want to hear this) to just keep writing. I know writing becomes an absolute chore when you can think of nothing but horrible ideas, but honestly, the fastest way to be hit by inspiration is by being in the act of writing—even if you have nothing good to say. I listed this advice first, because many people mistake “writer’s block” with not finding the “perfect words” to say what they want to. This is wrong! When you’re writing a poem, or especially a story, it’s best to get whatever is in your head down as fast as possible with as much detail as possible even if it sounds like a spastic kindergartener wrote it.

            Writing is meant to be revised: F. Scott Fitzgerald did not immediately write paragraphs of smooth, angelic sounding prose; he rewrote much of Gatsby until it possessed its current fluency and eloquence and became the masterpiece it is today.

            A second way to overcome this annoying block would be to engage in creative exercises/prompts. If you’ve ever taken a creative writing course or workshop, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you can find many exercises online if you aren’t inclined to spend heaps of money on writing-help books, such as Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway (which I have read and can tell you it is very helpful and includes many lovely and inspiring whole short stories by various authors), or even something cheap such as, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts by Bryan Cohen (Which, I haven’t read, so I cannot vouch for it. But it’s $3 on Amazon, so really, why not?).

            For poetry, this is a really great exercise. Try to incorporate each of the 20 things listed in one poem. I’ve found it almost always yields interesting results.

             Creative writing prompts for fiction online are a bit trickier—most of them are ridiculous. I’ve found some that suggest starting off with a meteor hitting the earth—tacky and overused. Or titling your story “The Baby Dragon.” These ideas will probably never produce publishable results—but hey, sometimes you need to write about something idiotic to overcome writer’s block. However, this article looks promising.

             Finally, a third way to conquer writer’s block is to stop writing. Give up for the day and sleep on it (but don’t give up for days). Or maybe, set down your current piece and start a completely new project. This is your final resort—I do not recommend stopping for a long period of time—one should write every day, regardless of the quality produced. Setting a specific time of day and writing for the same amount of time each day is absolutely necessary in becoming a writer. If you think that you should never force yourself to write, you are wrong. This is something hippies say, “Oh never force it out, just let it come to you.” Wrong. If you sit down and don’t let your pen/typing fingers stop moving, your writing is going to flow automatically. Maybe everything you write that day will be horrible, but I guarantee it will help you—or maybe there’s something—just one usable sentence among trash that it makes it all worth it. If you don’t believe me, you are probably  making up excuses for why you haven’t written anything in forever—don’t let yourself get behind.

           Writing must be done everyday.