Writers Block

I actually touched on writer’s block in my post ‘What makes you a writer? Self doubt and writing’, about how a blank page wasn’t a bad thing, but an opportunity.

Writers block is an interesting one for me, because I would say I am never sparse in ideas. I have to keep a journal because my ideas come at the weirdest times, and especially in my dreams. My dreams, about 2-3 times a week, are the most bizarre things ever, from waking up in cold sweats, scared, to my heart pounding in my chest at the happiness – it is utter madness. But in that respect, I never have writers block starting a new piece of writing because I turn back to my journals and expand on ideas. It’s a wonderful and kept very close to me – a great source of inspiration.

The part where I suffer writers block from is when getting into the nitty-gritty of a manuscript, and I have all the action scenes planned out, but those are what I call the ‘boring bits’ – the link scenes, I find my mind goes a wash with a blankness. It is like trying to find a pin in a haystack, near damn impossible. But I normally stare at my screen, scratch my head, check my phone, make some lunch/dinner, pay a bill, buy something online, then sit back down again. If that doesn’t work, I pause it all, leave my screen open where I stopped and do something else, normally read a story or watch a movie that gives me inspiration or ideas pop out from. Not the ideas from the film, but it might a line or the colour of a jacket, or a set of eyes, that triggers my brain back into gear.

If I am really stuck, I leave it for a few days, weeks, even months, until I can plan it out. Otherwise depending on my mood and other projects on the go (yes, I do always have several writing projects on the go), I may tackle it head on and brainstorm what it needs to lead to or what I want to happen, and that helps gives me slightly more direction. Sometimes I discover exactly what I was missing, the missing link.

Writers block can be both good and bad. One, it gives a writer the chance to reset or refresh – by the time they take from stepping away from a project and then coming back to it with a fresh mindset. Two, it can be very maddening because sometimes we have an idea but either don’t know how to convey it from our minds onto paper, or we don’t know where to start. Either way, don’t become angry or annoyed with yourself if your mind is blank or the words fail to pour from you – it is natural and not every artist is struck with brilliance every second of every day.

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