Sunday, July 06, 2008

Writer's Block

The wall that we hit as writer's is called Writer’s Block ~Repeat after me...I will not write, I will not write. Your mantra for when you suffer from WB.

We’ve talked about inspiration, motivation and all of the good stuff that makes your writing flow, but we haven’t touched the brick wall that writer’s hit in their writing routine.
Writer’s block isn’t just merely a hindrance in your writing it is a sudden blankness that covers you like a wet blanket adhering to your skin. You try to shake it off but it clings not wanting to give you any mobility

The old Block comes when you least expect it. You’ll be on a roll writing your heart out and one day you sit down and the vacant page stands up shouting out to you like a humongous abysmal billboard. It screams for something to be on it, yet you drive by glancing at it with your head out the window like a lost puppy with his ears flapping in the wind.

You begin daydreaming of what you should be doing (and that’s writing) but nothing comes, so you sit and stare hoping for some inspiration. Writer’s block can last a day, a week or sometimes a month! (YIKES) As you can see I’ve had it once or twice myself. I’ve never had it as bad as Mr. Henry Roth, author of Call it Sleep, whose block lasted for sixty years!

The day begins in anxiety and ends in frustration. I have a little trick I’ve tried and told a friend about who tried it and it worked for BOTH of us in overcoming the block!

First I relaxed my mind, I started the day by cleaning the house and not thinking of writing at all. I told myself the little mantra, "I will not write, I will not write." As I was cleaning, I had to dust the desk and keyboard. I gazed at it like a one-eyed cyclops, "Nope, I’m not writing!"
I continued trudging along with my day like not writing was nothing new, ignoring all the pings and pangs of anxiety, I just released all the tension through scrubbing and vacuuming. Boy did my place shine that day!

The next day I had nothing to clean, so I sat at my keyboard and blank screen. Did I write? You betcha! I couldn’t STOP writing! I went on and on about how my house cleaning went. Then I wrote about my elderly neighbor who was walking her dog again, and I wondered what her lonely life must be like being a widow, living alone in a big old house, how she must feel facing everyday without Henry, her husband.

Before I knew it I had a short story of almost 3,000 words or more!

Mind over matter can be a strange thing. You can trick your mind into believing something so absurd as, "I will not write." And before you know it, your talent licks you in the face, yup like a puppy again, and you’ve freed yourself from the imprisonment of The Block, Writer’s Block, (not the cell block.)

1 comment:

June said...

That's definitely a different approach to working around writers block.

I've oftened wondered if writer's block might, in some cases, be part of some writers creative process--such as in "down time?"

And then there are those who suggest that writer's block doesn't exist.

While I've never experienced it (know on wood?!?!?) I feel that this is an important topic to explore.

Take care,