As the deadline for my post slithered closer, I sat and banged my head against the desk praying for inspiration because, quite frankly, I had nothing. Yeah, nada, zip, zero, zilch, nuttin’. It happens. I ran through the gamut of usual resolutions: I scoured other blogs looking for inspiration. I picked random topics out of the air. I asked my muses and was met with stony silence and an evil glare for interrupting their game of bones with the Fates. (I should be bothered that they hang out with each other but I’ve no control over their social life. It’s when the Fates bring Destiny along that I really start to worry.)
So, with the eleventh hour fast approaching I put my fingers on the keys and just started typing whatever came into my fevered grey matter. That led me to consider Writer’s Block and the fact that I don’t seem to suffer much from it any more. Except, apparently, where blog posts are concerned. Even that I’ve overcome by just writing. Anything. With the obvious exception of the phrase,
I used to suffer from WB. Frequently. I’d stare at the blank page and freeze. I’d read what I wrote the day before. I’d edit what I wrote the day before. I’d trim the plan in the corner (for future reference, cacti aren’t the most fun to trim). But I just couldn’t move beyond. That would invariably lead to frustration, mental anguish, constant guilt and self-inflicted “you’re not worthy” tirades. During which time my muses would sit on the window sill and throw things at me.
That doesn’t happen any more.
Go back to the beginning of this post. One of the things I do if I feel truly stuck, is just start writing. I don’t care what it is, how badly it’s constructed, how flat and meaningless the characters and non-existent plot are. It may start with dialogue, with action, a bit of fanfic from a show recently watched — it doesn’t matter. The key is to string some words together. It’s like priming a pump. Once it starts flowing, sometimes it’s hard to shut off.
Another remedy, at least for me, is having more than one WIP going at a time. Sometimes the brain just needs to switch gears. Being able to flip to another world and different characters keeps me from getting in a rut.
I also have given myself permission to put my brain on idle. This usually means playing a few rounds of Bubble Town during my writing time without amassing tons of guilt. Why? Because Bubble Town, while a nice little diversion, takes just enough thought to keep the front part of my brain occupied. That’s important because more, often than not, when I’m stuck it’s due to the frontal lobe running rough-shod over my creative center. Giving it something else to do allows my creativity to relax and breathe. Generally, whatever has been damning me up breaks free.
And if I’m really and truly stuck? I watch a movie or read –recreational reading or beta reading. Either works. Again, it forces me to relieve the pressure on my creative center. The subconscious. It works better when it’s not being controlled.
Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block? What are some of your cures?
~ K. L. Schwengel