So, who all have faced the proverbial random blankness of the mind that blocks all thoughts and imagination even though the hand itches and the pen (or the keyboard in today’s context) twitches to let words flow on the white background?
Ok hands down. I see you all have faced that dead-end at some point.
That my friend is the dreaded “Writer’s Block”.
Imagine reaching a dead-end, after especially a good long run. Look at it this way – going ahead is definitely questionable at that blessed moment; and tracing your steps back would sort of result in a new path- meaning a deviation from the earlier thought route. If it leads to a newer, fresher, and more exciting ideation –wow! Else…uh oh!
Here are few things you might just want to keep in mind, (or get a print out and stick on your soft board around your writing area in case you have a lousy memory).
But before I begin, No, you are not special. Every writer at some point encounters the blessed “writer’s block”. It is a part of the creative process and one thing you should do is NEVER EVER back down at that point.
So don’t cry “Why me Lord! Why me!?”
It’s not that you can’t write – it’s just that you are running out of ideas/plots/notions/thoughts/concepts/theories/opinions/inspirations/brain wave…etc.
Wise men say that a smart way to by-pass the encounter with the dreaded “writer’s block” is to actually draft an outline of your work. It makes sense. At any point if you feel stuck, or blocked, you can go back to the outline and work around it so as to not lose focus and direction. You really won’t have to look around for inspiration or dread the demons of randomness. All you would have to do is refer to the outline you chalked initially and smirk in the face of adversity!
Anyways, coming back to the pointers:
• Go easy on yourself: Come what may, do not force yourself to write. Just close your eyes and go blank. Literally. Try it.
• Take a break: Yes, sure go have a kitkat…go for a walk, or ride, or drive, just go – take a break. A change of environment always does good to the brain and the system associated with it.
Creativity cannot breed in closed environments.
You need to experience the noise and the ruckus outdoor. You would be surprised at the scenes you witness that would lead you to ideate new perspectives for your story.
The point is: you have to step away from the computer. Even if it is for a pee break. Spend some more time staring at yourself in the mirror. You might just stumble… upon something new, I mean.
• Music: Believe it or not, vocal or instrumental sounds possessing a degree of melody, harmony, or rhythm have proven worthy of leading to new ideas and fancies that might have lay hidden under a pile of dormant notions. Don’t ya’ll like rappin’ fellas!
• Surf, Read, Write: If you can’t step away from your desk (the compulsive freak that you are), stay put and harness the power of the internet. The bottomless information pit. Surf different sites, indulge in conversation or discussions, read different blogs or write about your day. This will in a way, get you back into the grove and restore consistency.
• Click some more: Leave the mouse and pick up the camera for a change. Photography is great way of letting your creative juices flow. It adds variety to your imaginatoin. Plus, if you are good with the pictures, you might just have something more to add to your photo-blog, if not your resume!
• Overcome that sensation of nothingness by doing something out of the box. Something you haven’t done earlier. Maybe something like cooking. Or boiling water. Or playing with your neighbor’s dog, cat, mouse, camel, cow, parrot, crow, baby. Anything.
• Doodle: yes, you read that right. Try doodling. Random words, phrases, sentences. Re-read them and re-arrange them and lo! You will surely find your way out of the block.
But at no cost should you let frustration creep in. The slightest hint of doubting yourself or hesitation in proceeding with your words is a signal that you need to take a break, lest you let the woes overpower you. The pressures you face are much worse than plotting the mysteries and the miseries for your characters.
All said and done, worry not my countrymen. This menace of writer’s block shall be broken. Words will flow freely like before. Confidence will be restored. The mission has to be accomplished.
Sometimes all you need to do is hold in some patience. There is always a path around the block, waiting to be explored!
And now that I’ve let it all out, I need to head back to my story writing.