Monday, June 20, 2011

Writer's Block

 
I HAVE WRITER'S BLOCK.
 



Not the kind of writer's block that makes you crazy for a day and then disappears with a good bottle of wine.  Not the kind of writer's block that gets you stuck on one project but allows another to flow freely.  Not the kind of writer's block that you can just brush aside and say, "Oh well.  Ain't no thing but a chicken wing."


 
No, I have serious writer's block.

I stare blankly at the computer screen.  I type words only to delete them minutes later.  I brainstorm ideas.  I talk to myself on my digital voice recorder.  I bounce ideas off family and friends.  I print out rough drafts to assess my progress.  I abandon my computer and resort to hand writing.  I throw my red pen across the room.  I sit inside.  I sit outside.  I drink water.  I drink wine.  I find complete silence.  I play music.  I set deadlines.  I ignore deadlines.  Nothing works.  And for the first time since my college days when I found any excuse to avoid writing a term paper, my computer is my enemy.  I avoid it at all costs.  Even if it means an entire day passes with no Facebook.  Oh my gosh, what is wrong with me?!?!?


After getting stuck on one project, I put it aside and started another one.  When I got stuck on that one I shelved it and started yet another one.  Guess what?  Now I have 3 unfinished projects that are begging for my undivided attention like children who are home on summer vacation (which is unfortunate because I actually have 2 children who are home on summer vacation begging for my undivided attention).


So how do I unblock myself?  How do I find my voice again?  How do I learn how to stop pressuring myself?




6 comments:

  1. Walk away. Let it set for a couple of weeks (a month is better) and don't think about it. It's completely different than not having time to work on them - then you just aren't working on them, but you're still thinking about them in the back of your mind. Walking away completely and letting your mind clear, not worrying or thinking about them, not starting anything new (writing-wise). Then come back and pick one - just one. I don't know about you, but that's what works for me.

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  2. When I have writer's block - like the person above said - I walk away. I also try to do this thing I learned in college from a book called The Artists Way - called morning pages. Where you just take paper and you write whatever is in your head, even if it's just to do lists or random ideas, or something that happened yesterday - you just get it out. And then slowly, your brain defogs (or at least semi-defogs lol) and you can begin to focus on what you want again. Best of luck!!

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  3. I guess it depends really on the subject of your writing. Is there something you can do to inspire new ideas?

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  4. Walking away is always a good thing to try... if not try reading. Whenever I read a book or a magazine or a blog it gets my brain churning. Even if I just want to write a response or a review it is a start!

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  5. One word: Sabbatical.
    Don't write anything except in your journal for about 2 weeks, and do some for-fun reading. Works every time!

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  6. I SO feel your pain!

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