Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?
– Kurt Vonnegut
You might not want to be arrested and charged by police but there are many options if you have a dose of writer’s block. Last evening, in a round circle discussion, members of my East End Writers’ Group came up with some novel ideas for well writer’s block when writing a novel – or writing anything.
Here are our words of wisdom, in no particular order:
Take a writing course, especially one taught by Brian Henry – you will get inspired and Brian gets you to actually write in his workshops, even during lunch.
Put the blocked novel, short story aside and write something different. Maybe your brain is bored with the same old story and needs something new, at least temporarily. But do come back to the original.
Have a roster of several writing projects on the go – to some extent; don’t over tax yourself – so you can move from one to the other when stuck.
Start reading. You would be surprised how reading another novel, short story, newspaper article written by someone else can inspire you to write. Don’t analyze the story’s style, just go with the flow of writing and let your subconscious absorb the writer’s style. You don’t want to copy it, but it will jar your inner creativity.
Freefall write – write anything that comes to mind and keep writing for at least 20 minutes. You can also use a word, a sentence from a book, a sound, something visual to get you going. Or if you are angry, worried, or fearful about something, write about that. Go where the fear takes you.
Do something completely different – preferably something physical – walk the dog or just go for a walk on your own, do some gardening (season permitting). Getting your body moving can help wake up your brain – often with a possible solution to your block.
One group member writes in different languages, so when blocked he switched languages. He also juggles several writing projects at a time.
And don’t forget to join a writing critique group. Even if you don’t always bring something to read for feedback, just listening to someone read their writing excerpt and listening to and taking part in the discussion, can be inspiring.
Let’s banish writer’s block where it belongs – buried in the snow.
Here are a couple of books to help you do just that with writer’s block.
The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron
Unlock Writer’s Block – Paul Lima
If you click on the book at the top, it will take you to my books,bio, etc on my publisher’s page. To check out the East End Writers’ Group go here.