Welcome back to day two of a wonderful challenge!
The main topic of today is going to be blocked – as in writer’s block. I think at one point or another, everyone experiences writer’s block.
It is that moment where you sit down at your computer (or with a pen and paper) and you open up what you are working on and you stare at a blank page. And keep staring. Then you end up going off doing something else and you never actually get any words down.
I despise that feeling of a lack of inspiration.
So what do we do about it?
Well for me, I try to write ANYTHING I can. Even if it’s a sentence that I come back and rewrite or even just toss in the trash all together. I try to get something on the page so it doesn’t look so blank. I go a find something to inspire me, I write a blog (hah! You’ve see how well that works…), I write descriptions and character sketches. I edit and revise.
I try to avoid actual “going off to do something else” because I don’t get a lot of time to write freely – as some of you know if you’ve read that blog entry I did a little while ago about my times to write. There are days when I sit and look at that blank page and get nothing. Or I’ll sit down and get interrupted and miss that chance of trying to get any writing done. But I don’t just automatically give up.
What’s my suggestions for you writers out there: Don’t give up. Or before you do, try some of these things that help me:
- Look up writing prompts – there are probably hundreds of different websites out there that offer just prompts for writers looking for something to push them along.
- Go to Write or Die – it’s a wonderful website that gives you a little window to write in and you can set a timer (and punishments – like deleting things if you stop!) and just write. It doesn’t matter if what you write makes sense. Sometimes I’ll sit there and type what is in my head – even if that voice in my head is berating me for not writing! I yell and talk to myself. As long as my fingers are moving on the keys!
- Get with another writer friend and give each other a writing challenge. Set a time limit and goal, and see if that camaraderie will push you to getting some words on the paper.
- Look at pictures or request an invite for Pinterest and play there! Listen to music! Go for a walk! Take an inspiration-seeking break and get some ideas. Then sit down again and try to write something.
And there’s my spiel for writer’s block for day two. Let’s talk about some other B words that occupy my life:
- Bravery: To be a writer is to be brave. The bravery does not necessarily come from the writing of the words, but from what comes next. If you, as a writer, want to share those words with the world there are going to be things that come that will be hard. Querying. Rewriting. Getting rejected. Getting represented. These aren’t things I’ve gotten to, but I’ve seen friends get to those stages and the processes seem to be hard and life-changing. That takes bravery and I think as a writer you need to need to make sure you have that bravery to get through it with a smile on your face.
- Balance: Another thing that writers really need to make sure they have is the ability to balance things. Writing life and the life you lead outside of writing must be balanced. There are times where one part of our life will flow into the other and try to disturb that balance, and so you must become an expert balancer to avoid toppling over.
- Blogs: So, blogs. They are pretty important some of the time, especially for anyone that works in an industry that reaches out to others – like writers. It gives you an ability to communicate with your audience, or potential audience. I have a blog (duh!), one that I struggle with sometimes, but I think I do a decent job when I do post. There are so many blogs out there that are part of this industry, from agents to writers to editors to publishers. It is a wonderful way to network.
That’s all folks! Join us tomorrow for the next installment!
Cara Mia Amore