Your mind is a playground. Let the book bring it to life.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Unblocking that writer's block

It has been a difficult last few months for me. I've found it difficult to stay focused. In trying to balance mom, home, work and squeeze in my love of reading and writing has proven very challenging lately. I hope I am not alone and I'm sure I am not. And maybe posting this will help me to get back on track.

In thinking about how I should do that, get back on track, that is, I came across an article that I found interested. Here are five writing exercises that I found that I'm going to try in order to get my creative juices flowing again.

Step One: Write for Yourself

Many writers sit down to a blank piece of paper expecting to write the next Great American Novel. This type of mindset isn't practical or healthy. It's great to have high expectations for yourself but to let that much pressure overcome you will leave your mind blank eventually leading to a definite "writer's block". So, to help combat this, take out a piece of paper and proceed to write whatever you want, whatever comes into your head, even if it's completely ridiculous and absurd or total crap. Keep doing this. Chances are you'll like what you've written. Or even if you don't, it will be real and relaxed. Do it several times and pretty soon the pressure will be off and you'll be writing as though every project were a rough draft, with awesome results.

Step Two: Remember Your Motivation

Often the pressures of writing lead us down the path of forgetting why we started writing in the first place. Take a piece of paper (yes, again) and ask yourself why you started writing. Then with every answer, ask yourself "why". Pretty soon, your answers will lead you back to the real reason you started writing in the first place and the cause of the writer's block will be revealed.

Step Three: Make a U-Turn

Sometimes writers, over time, may feel like their writing becomes dull and "stale". If you write in one genre, this may lead to writer's block. So, try writing in a different genre or if you're not usually funny in your writing, try throwing in some comic relief. Try writing from a man's perspective instead of a woman's, if that's how you usually write. This will bring freedom back to your writing and will be very liberating.

Step Four: Try a Disguise

Sometimes, getting "into" the character of the people you are writing about can help. Be silly, be crazy. If you are writing about a detective, put on a trench coat. If you're writing about a pirate, put on a patch over your eye and waltz around your room shouting, ARRR!.... Ahoy, Matey! You may feel silly at first but your writing will take a turn for the better and you'll probably come up with some fantastic ideas for a better story or character.

Step Five: Use Outside Influences

Some writers become blocked because of a lack of an idea for a story. Try this. Put a TV or radio by your writing space. If it is a TV, turn it away from you so that you can only "hear" what is going on. Listen to the stories (daily news) or programs and try writing about the first story you hear about. Use your imagination and write down exactly what comes to your mind. This exercise will give you a large set of ideas to work from while you're writing.

Well, I hope these steps have helped you. They sure have helped me. I'm going to leave now because I've got loads of ideas ready to burst from my head to my fingertips. Good luck in unblocking your writer's block.