The most common and frightening set of words to any writer are 'writer's block.' Personally, they are so traumatizing, I try as little as possible to use them at all. I've struggled with the idea of writing a blog about this phenomenon, worried I may give that little muse robbing phrase some more power. Power is not what we want that phrase to acquire.
Why did I end up writing this, then? I hear about it so often from my fellow writers. I see this subject in blogs from editors, agents, and authors alike. I think one of the most common questions I've seen asked is, "What do you do about writer's block?" Every bit of advice is always right on target, there are a lot of things you can do about writer's block. One bit of advice that I've never seen is simply this; delete those two words from your vocabulary.
I hear the protests already. It's a matter of training. When I feel that evil being approaching, I don't call it Writer's Block-I call it Writer's Opportunity. No, I haven't completely lost my mind. Hear me out.
When you can't seem to write a word, what if it's your subconscious telling you it's time to shift gears a little? Shake it up a bit, make this writing career fun! Tell yourself, "Oh, this is my opportunity to do something incredible."
I am still going through a tumultuous time in my life. There are days that writing seems like the last thing I can think of. Sometimes, I write one sentence in my novel and think....and think.....and think.... Then I tell myself, "Here's my opportunity."
- Read blogs: I have the blogs I follow posted on the side of this one, so take a look. They are all varied in their content, and usually put a smile on my face and a little push to write one more sentence.
- Read the last sentence of any book you have lying around: Now, use it as a story starter. Sometimes the end of one book isn't enough. Continue it; it doesn't mean you have to send it off to anyone, just write what you think should happen next. If you haven't read the book, that's even better-you have no idea what that last sentence means to the rest of it. Your creativity is free to do with it whatever you want.
- Make a game of it: I started watching Big Brother this summer. I have a friend that is reality tv addicted and she talked me into it. I used to swear against this stuff, okay? Uh-I got addicted. But, what addicted me was the vast array of character traits that I was observing from the comfort of my couch. I started writing certain things down-the way someone walked, tweaked their moustache, a certain laugh, a career choice, well-you get the idea. Then I cut every trait out to a single slip of paper and threw them in a box. I did the same with some plot ideas or even just a small conflict and threw those in a different box. You could even do different settings, but I didn't. I drew one from each and thought up a short story about them. Now, this hasn't led to a new novel worthy of publication, but it got my mind turning in different directions that I hadn't thought of before.
- Write something really boring: I know, that's mean, right? Well, not really. When you see how hard it is to put out something awful, you'll know how easy it is to write something great. Try it, I dare you. By the time you get to your third sentence, you'll either throw it, laugh at how awful it is, or even realize-you couldn't write awful to begin with.
Okay, so there is my goofy spin on things. So everyone with Writer's Opportunity-are you going to open the door?
For the slightly masochistic; drwicked.com is a great blog and he has wonderful, straightforward advice for us floundering species...the writer. He also has a great widget called Write or Die . This application will really put a fire under that bum!
This is actually not a blog for writing per se, but Dr. Anthony Fernando gives great daily inspirations and tips for achieving dreams.
If you haven't signed up for Writer's Digest FREE e-newsletter, you should! They fill their website and the newsletter with information for the serious writer and also provide writing prompts to give you a kickstart.