I don’t know about you, but I once believed in writer’s block, that strange thing that happened whenever I got stumped on a sentence or a major plot turn.
Today, I stress little, preferring to step around the proverbial block.
In other words, whenever I get the inkling of writer’s block I make a new choice – I go around it by:
- Going instantly over to another project; I usually have at least two going on at once, so this works much of the time.
- Pulling out my creative binder filled with pictures from magazines. I open this binder to a random page and begin to write what I see. (One of my writing clients began a new book by doing this, and in a genre he didn’t think he could write).
- Pulling a book from the bookshelves and pointing to a random sentence. An Example:
“He could, and he did,” page 129, from Aspire, by Stephen R. Covey.
“Though he wasn’t sure why in the beginning, he later managed to prove to himself that all things were possible. Plus, he’d listened to his mother, and somehow, some way, she had never gone wrong,” (from me, just now, using this idea.
- Keeping a jar of miscellaneous words. When you get that feeling that writer’s block is on its way, put your writing aside and reach for a word or two. Using one or both words, write your first paragraph.
- Stepping outside for a moment. Take a short break. Often, when I do this, I am writing about my experience of struggling to get the next sentence out. Before long, I’ve written pages of material.
Keep in mind that inspiration can be found anywhere, so always keep a notepad and pen ready. I have been at the bank, been standing in line at the grocery store, have overheard a conversation at a restaurant, have been working on another project; I’ve even been cleaning the bathroom, when an awesome idea has come to me. Don’t tell yourself that you will remember what came to you – you won’t! Write it down so you can return to the thought later.
Some writer friends I know keep a hand-held recorder in their car or purse. That way, when the idea comes, they have easier access to getting the words down. This is especially true when driving their car.
Inspiration often comes best when I’m relaxed and not stressed. When I’m not pressured for time, or when things are more quiet in my office. Music helps to reduce stress, so does chocolate, possibly one of my most favorite ‘staple’ foods.