Writer's Block - that dreaded crippling mindset we all fall into at some point - where the end of our career is looming because we're never going to be able to write again... I've been there. No ideas. Too many ideas. Veering away from the outline and hitting a dead end. The story / article is going in the wrong direction and I can't bring it back. I can't link A to C because B doesn't make sense. The characters have lost their impact. I hear critics in my head. The right words have deserted me. The one great idea I had has fizzled into nothingness. A large part of text I've written needs re-writing. Nothing is flowing - the plot, characters, words...
Basically, anything like the above that hinders you from being creative, I'm classing as Writer's Block. And it sucks. Oh yes, it sucks.
But what can you do to get through it?
Writing exercises are magic. They force you to keep writing and thinking in a creative capacity. Here are some of my favourites:
1) Write 10 potential titles of books you’d like to write.
2) Create a character.
3) Write a description of an exhilarating event you've personally encountered. How did it make you feel?
4) Write a poem about a memorable moment in your life.
5) Select a book on your shelf and pick two chapters at random. Take the first line of one chapter and the last line of the other chapter and write a short story (no more than 1000 words) using those lines as bookends to your story.
6) Rewrite a fairy tale from the baddie’s point of view.
7) Turn on your TV or radio or iTunes. Write down the first line that you hear and write something based on it.
8) Go for a coffee and listen in on a conversation. Turn what you hear into a short love story (no matter how much you have to twist what they say!)
9) Write the acknowledgments page that will be placed in your published book, thanking all the people who have helped you on the journey.
Take a detour - either by heading in a direction with another scene, or going for a long walk.
Write an up-to-date synopsis of your story scene by scene. This will help you keep track of your timeline and point out the places where you can deviate and then bring the story back in line again.
Keep the first draft as a free flow. It doesn't help me, but try writing without letting spell check, grammar check and punctuation hinder you. Those checks can come later in the revisions.
Some advice suggests to keep writing and battle through the block, but if you're literally banging your head on the desk out of sheer frustration, I'd say it's probably time for a serious break ;)
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.