Saturday, June 1, 2024

2024 - June -- Not Writer's Block


What to do when you get stuck writing and it's not Writers Block?

If you have writer's block, that' a whole different kettle of fears.

Today, or rather this month, I'm talking about when things don't seem to be going well with the WIP (your Work In Progress). 

The ideas may be there, but they do not flow steadily onto the paper or computer screen. The old adage to just keep writing seems irrelevant considering what's generated ends up scrapped as unusable, torn up pages or a deleted file. 

So, what to do? 

Simple answer—stop worrying. Such episodes happen to writers. 

Here's a better idea— Change something. Get away from the angst.

If using a computer, go write by hand on a yellow tablet in another room, or on the deck or porch. Go to a coffee shop with your laptop or a notebook, a journal, or even a composition book. Enjoy a brew and goodie, sit by a window and watch people inside the building and out. Write about what you observe and feel.

But what if the problem that mucked up the day's writing is an indecision about a character's motivations or a need to figure out how to get Character A to point B in a story? In that case, go to your writing partners or that friend or sibling that will let you talk it out and ask questions that make you think of new alternatives. Or simply do The List of 20, wherein you list idea after idea. Somewhere around the twentieth idea comes one that works. If not, keep listing items until The One hits.

You might also consider going for a walk in the park and sit on a bench, drink up the sunshine. How about walking the dog twice around the block? Sit on the grass, watch the wind ruffle leaves, flowers, find animals in the cloudy sky. Listen to the sounds of nature and humans. Feel the sunshine.

The above paragraph may be fine for a sunny day, but what about a cloudy or rainy day? Take an umbrella and put on your rubbers. walk through puddles, listen to the beat of the rain, enjoy the mist, the smell of fresh rain.  Do be safe — don't go out when there's lightning.

When you return home, write about what you saw, what you felt, what you heard, what you pondered. Write a poem. Write an essay. Write for the sheer joy of creating and putting words into print.

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