Sunday, March 3, 2019

Is There Such a Thing as Writer's Block?

 Sometimes the words flow so fast that it seems impossible to get them to paper before they float away. Other times, not as many thank goodness, it can be described as having a 'writer's block.' Although many psychologists have done studies on this and claim there is no such thing. Just how do they know this? It is definitely SOMETHING that has overtaken a writer's brain to become mush. Nothing seems coherent or fitting as I try to put it on paper. This is the place that I am right now, fighting to get out of it for over a week.

My need to learn about something takes over and I go to google for information that I want to learn about.I simply typed in Articles on Writer's Block. A wealth of information appeared in the blink of an eye. I read one article about why some psychologists believe that there is no such thing. They believe that it is a fear within the writer so they feel uninspired and simply procrastinate writing. DUH! I may not have my degree in psychology, however, I am here to say it is all of the above. Whatever you want to call it. It is real.

The way that I write is first from an outline then turning that into a story board. It works for me, or at least it has been up to this point. Where I stand now in my novel basically boils down to the voices, which are usually my friends, seem to have stopped talking. This in turn is making it difficult to get pen to paper (or fingers to keys) to continue with my story. 

 This quote truly does inspire me. I know that I can't just sit here until I feel inspired. Inspiration will find me if I just write. Every article that I tapped in to touched on this idea one way or another. Jack London believed that writing daily was the best way to stir up inspiration; it will find you. He said to go after it with a club if necessary and if you don't find your inspiration you will have found something very similar.

Sometimes for myself, Scott Berkun's quote holds very true and I need to have a good talkin' with myself. I am a novice in writing books. It is a bit intimidating to think that if I put my heart and soul into my book that someone will say that it is not good writing. And they will! This is something that I try to deal with using my meditation with a positive mantra. When I read about very famous authors receiving rejection letters one after the other, I know that I just must get used to it. The trick is to not overthink it. Just let it flow.

Writing about this is better than not writing at all. I totally agree. I did find a few other interesting suggestions that I can share:
  • Put what you have written aside for a few days or a bit longer if necessary and then return to it. Re-reading it and making notes if need be. You may be surprised how the light gets switched on by revisiting what you have completed.
  • Instead of writing to a generalized audience of readers, write and tell your story to one person, one that you may know or imaginary. Think of this person as you write your story for him/her.
  • Hoard your good ideas. When you are on a roll with your story and know what is coming up. Stop there. The next writing session will be a breeze.
  • Have you ever noticed pitchers on baseball teams who have a small, little ritual before they throw their pitch? Well, each day have your own ritual to get yourself motivated. It could be sitting with your coffee in silence, finding your positive mantra. This would be mine. But, I also always get out a pad of post it notes and a sharpened pencil, just for jotting things down and sticking it to my story board. Having some  soft instrumental music playing in the background sets the mood. AND let's not forget the coffee.
  • The last strategy that I use is to just do something different. Take a bike ride, bake something special, clean out a drawer or closet or read a little more. 
Whatever you want to call it, all writers get it. As a writer, I must find the strategy that will work for me and it is not always the same one. Be flexible and don't force it. I compare it to something as a bully. Someone in my brain telling me that I am empty on words, just like a school yard bully taking my lunch money. It is a matter of taking charge and not letting the dry spell of writing have power over me. I am in control here.

Tomorrow will be a new fabulous week and I plan on having a marvelous productive MONDAY!

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