Thursday, February 23, 2012

Preventing Writer's Block

Last month Heather posted on Writer's Block. Today she discusses how to prevent it.

While it happens, writer’s block is actually preventable. It’s not exactly like the flu where you can get a flu shot and it should prevent the flu from coming. It doesn’t always happen. The same goes for writer’s block. There are ways to prevent it from becoming a monster predicament that will take forever to overcome.

One way to prevent writer’s block is to keep writing, even if it feels like writer’s block has struck. Keep writing something, anything, whether it’s a grocery list, or random words that pop into your head. By writing them down, you’re preventing writer’s block from becoming just that, a writer’s block. In many instances, you can take words off both lists and start writing a story from it. You’d be amazed at the ideas that flow with simply three words. No matter what the three words are, the ideas flood out of your head. Suddenly you’re able to put yourself into your characters shoes. You’re able to write freely. You’re able to say what’s on your mind, and you’re able to more importantly write what you think is that character’s truth.

You can also draft a letter to one of your characters, or if you don’t know your character well enough yet, draft a letter to your ex. I’m sure there are so many things you’d like to say to them that you couldn’t ever say in person. Say it now, whatever it may be, say it now.

Sometimes all you need to do is take a break from sitting by your computer and writing nonstop. If that’s the case, then go outside and take a walk. Stop and breathe in the fresh air. Take in the surroundings, and then close your eyes for a moment. Feel the wind in your hair; listen to the honking of the horns as the cars drive by; inhale the scent of sweet pine grass or the flowers in your neighbor’s garden. Allow yourself to feel everything. Let your breath become slow and steady, but remember to keep those thoughts in your head. That way when you come back to your computer, you’re renewed, and have something to write about again.

If the characters don’t feel like talking to you that day, don’t get upset. Keep writing about what they might feel, why they aren’t opening up. Put yourself in the character’s shoes and you’ll be amazed at what comes out. Writer’s block happens. I don’t care what people say. It happens to everyone. The question is do you know what to do to stop it from coming on completely? You might’ve not known before, but now you do. Make a list, pick three words at random, take in your surroundings, and remember to keep on writing.

Till next time.

Happy writing,
Heather

4 comments:

  1. Force it out word by word. It's slow and painful (like pulling teeth), but eventually the block passes and before you know it, you're on a roll again.

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  2. I embrace writer's block as a time when i can catch up on other things because i tend to pour too much of my energy into writing that it consumes all of my outside time.

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  3. Great tips. I sometimes get blocked, but since I'm usually working on more than one project at a time, I switch to a different project when I get blocked on one.

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  4. I've tried taking a two-day break and doing writing exercises, where I'd put in a subject, and wrote the first predicate that came to my mind. It helped a lot. These suggestions are good too.

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