Sunday, December 04, 2005


When I sit in front of a blank computer screen and try to write, I sometimes lock-up. My mind shuts down, brain cells sputter and I generally start panicking. Writer’s block has reared its ugly head!

Must write.

Must write.

Must write.

Adding more pressure or making up excuses—too much noise, too many distractions, too many other things I need to do—doesn’t help either. I consider most of that bullshit anyway. Sitting down is easy. Getting the ideas to come is the hard part. So if you’re like me, and want to get the ball rolling, you’ll need to use a few strategies to keep the creative juices flowing.

First, turn off all the phones or place them on silent. Nothing can damage your ability to write more than being interrupted during a pivotal scene or plot concept. <Riiiing! You throw up your hands and say, "I give up!>

Second, find a place that’s quiet and comfortable. This allows you to relax and free your mind from other internal interruptions (Did I empty the dishwasher?).

Third, if you’ve already written some on the story, go back and read the last two pages to get you "into the groove." This will put your mind on track with the story and help direct where you need to go next, and this can be a huge hurdle if you’re experiencing writer’s block.

Fourth, just type. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you write, just as long as you’re doing it. Even if it’s the worst crap you’ve ever put forth, let it come out. It’s okay to write material you’d never even consider using as toilet paper. Once it’s out of your system, chances are you’ll start producing some worthy material. And finally, contact a friend/family member who writes or knows writing and tell them you’re having trouble. See if they can give you advice on how to get back to your story. But don’t spend all day on the phone (Mr. or Mrs. Procrastinator). After they’ve given you the spark you need, let your fingers fly over the keyboard!

Okay. Are you still reading this? Why! Get to work!


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