Thursday, January 12, 2017

Battling Writer's Block


You get the best idea. You want it on paper so fast you spill your coffee while getting to the desk. You fire up your writing program and FLASH! There is that white screen and your idea just went out the window... Yea, been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Of course, the t-shirt is white and blank like that damned blank screen. Writer's block. They should have a remedy for that by now. Some sort of pill or nasty tasting elixir that instantly heals it and we can write like the literary geniuses that we are! OK, Maybe that's not in our near future, but the problem is real. Crazy as it sounds, we don't always have the inspiration or the want-to to write that million dollar novel or that awe inspiring blog post. Our brains just say, Nope, not doing it today. Try back tomorrow or next week. Better luck next time.
<Insert that evil laugh that you swear is coming from everywhere but you know it is coming from that white screen of evil that is currently controlling your life>
Writer's block has driven authors mad, to drinking, to dire depression and <gulp> to cleaning house, to keep from thinking about it. Hemingway used to stand in front of his manual typewriter for hours, just staring at it. It happens to us all. I stare at my screen so long that I would get a headache from the whiteness,
The trick, and yes there is a trick, is to look the block right in the eye and say no. OK, maybe not so easy, but we are all so different in how we think and what motivates us. Personally, I have to step away from it for a while. It might be a few minutes or a few days but obviously my writing and I have met an impasse and we cannot get along, so I step away so I don't give up on the relationship. Today, I re-read every blog post I had ever written. Some posts gave me ah-ha moments where I patted myself on the back for thinking on my toes, and other posts I could see were just not me being at my best, but at least I wrote something. I think that is the real trick. If all you can write is "This is Spot. See Spot run." then fine! Hey, it might turn into, "See Spot jump the fence. Spot, leave that dog alone! <Sigh> This is Spot. These are Spot's puppies. See Spot's puppies run."

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