Thursday, February 26, 2015

Overcoming Writer's Block

I don't know what to write about today. I looked back through my previous posts hoping for inspiration but I found none lurking there. I remembered advice I was given about including video clips or pictures so I scanned all of the images I have saved on my computer. Here once again I found nothing waiting in the shadows to guide me. I simply floundered about waiting endlessly to be struck.

Then it occurred to me, all writers at one time or another get stuck just as I am today. We look at our blank screens, our empty pages and we wonder what to write. We reach out with our imaginations dedicated to finding our characters. We try to rouse them from their slumber in order to tell us their stories but some days they simply hide away from us or refuse to speak once located.

So the question becomes of course what do we do? There are limitless answers to this question of course and every writer will do what works best for them but it got me thinking about some of the things I have done in order to open the communication channels myself. Perhaps by sharing what has worked for me, and if inspired to join the conversation others share what tactics they use, we can all find new ways to help push past those slow frustrating times.

One of the biggest ways I continue on is, and it seems silly to say, to honestly just continue on. Like I did today with this post I simply admitted I had no idea what to write but I started putting words on paper and the idea developed from the non-sensical beginning. I will do that with stories as well. If I am unable to get a character to talk to me then I will just take them on a car ride or make them doing something boring like homework and they will in turn become annoyed with me and open up. It doesn't always work but it has been one of my more successful styles of coping with writer's bock.

On the occasions that this attempt does not work my next way to try and rectify the situation is to move to a different project. When a certain group of characters are having attitude problems and refusing to be cooperative it can help to open a story in a completely different style or genre. If I am just not feeling the lovey dove romance novel one day then perhaps I can make progress on my suspense novel instead. If I am just too laid back for the thriller then maybe I should work on compiling the stories and poems submitted for my charity series.

If I have tried all of my books and still nothing has come forward with a willingness to create then I will step away. Not necessarily for the entire day but I will go for a bike ride or take a class at the gym. Exercise is a great and healthy way to clear your mind and help the turmoils of your subconscious work themselves out. More than once I have had breakthroughs while I run on the track or lose myself in the music of my weight lifting class.

If after all of these different attempts have failed then I will resign for the day. Some times you need time and space from your novels. When this occurs I relax with a book, preferably one that is vastly different than anything I am currently writing. Getting lost in someone else's vision has helped to give me ideas as well as perspective on my own creations at times. I also talk to my friends both writer and non writer types. Again this helps me think of things totally unrelated to my works that are being so uncooperative and I am able to ease my mind to try again the next day. What are some things that work for you?

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