Come on over to the New Website:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Writer's Block syndrom

Working a full-time job plus overtime hours and operating my own publishing company is a big task. One of my readers recently requested I write a post about writer's block and, because that subject has been heavy on my mind, I think now is the propper time to address it.

Sometimes I believe that writer's block exists and sometimes I think it is all in my head. When I go to schools I frequently receive questions relating to how I create characters, how I invent the story ideas, and how I overcome writer's block. I like to say that writer's block does not exist and I sincerely believe it does not. Recently with all the work I've been doing outside of my writing I have not made the time to sit down and write. In some ways it feels like my creativity is cut off for a period of time and I'm just waiting for it to come back. But experience has taught me that I can always work out of writer's block. If I sit down to write and my mind simply blanks on the topic or manuscript I am working on, then I switch tracks to another subject.

In the past I have sat at my computer, mind blank. It may sound too simple, or even funny, but I wrote a letter to myself from my computer.

Computer: Hi Scott, how are you today?

Me: Well, I have some time to write, but my mind is blank.

Computer: What story do you want to work on today?

Me: Well, I was thinking about working on my second Sword of the Dragon novel. But I'm not sure what to write next.

Computer: Hold it! Slow down. Tell me what happened recently in the manuscript. What have you written so far?

This is one of the most effective ways I have found of working out of writer's block. It is my belief that the brain simply wears thin on frequently visited works, so you have to freshen it with something along a different story-vein, line of thought, or genre, etc.

I remember a particular day when I couldn't think of anything to write in my novel. So I started typing a story about a writer who had a deadline and couldn't get his imagination rolling. Before I realized it I had over a thousand words in a long short story titled Trapped In Imagination ...and that story is one of my fans' favorites.

So if your mind is burned out along one track, try refreshing it by thinking along another vein. The brain simply gets tired. Give it a rest, but make sure to exercise your writing skills at the same time. And remember to prioritize your writing. Other things (jobs in particular) pull me out of my creative vein and I have to work extra hard to get my writing done.

Hope this is helpful everyone!


Star-Dreamer said...

I've had writer's block. It can be really difficult to overcome, I know. But it can be done.

Last night while trying to force my way back into my own story, one of my writing buddies invited me over for supper (and some fun fangirl stuff! :D) Anyway, as it just so happened, she was at a block in her project as well. So we sat and read excerpts to eachother, and started brainstorming... throwing ideas at one another. How did it end? Well, she was having problems getting a certain important character into the story and by the time we were done, not only was the character in, but we also had several holes in the plot plugged up and she was inspired to write again!

And what about me? I struggle with pulling out realistic villians and she is a (in my oppinion) a master at writing wonderfully aweful villiany. She gave me some pointers and I discovered where I'd gone wrong. Now I know where I'm going with it again.

I've never actually written a letter to myself, but I do write mock journal entries which end up being just a bunch of strange ramblings thrown down on paper, but that usually pull me out of whatever block I'm in.

Do I believe in writer's block? Yes. But I also believe that we can get ourselves out of it when we really really want to... if if the block is screaming, "No! no, I love you! don't leave me out here in the cold!"

Jake said...

Thanks for the advice, Scott!


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.