Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Help My Mind Is Blank - Writer's Block

Sorry for the delay in this month’s blog, but I suffered writer’s block. For the few of you who have never experienced it, it is where your mind goes completely blank when faced with a clean screen or sheet of paper and you have no clue what to write. (My wife says I have no clue about many things, but that is another story.) It can be especially frustrating when you’re totally on your own having to come up with both the subject and the words to say. In these times it can seem like your battery is running low and you need to recharge it, but there is no place handy to do it. And so you have to try to get every last bit of juice out it until you are able to get it recharged.
To recharge my batteries I often find either making a list of potential subjects to write about or reviewing what you and others have written can be a big help. Another is to read a newspaper or magazine. If you have the luxury, delaying for a day or two might be just what you need. Call a good friend you can bounce things off of and maybe the two of you can brain storm an idea to get you started.
It’s a bit easier when you at least have a general idea of what you’re writing, but just can’t seem to figure out how to start. I often find that just writing anything related to the subject at hand is better than staring at a blank screen or piece of paper even if it’s the worse piece of crap you’ve ever written. No one needs to see it, but you. It starts the creative juices flowing. Once you’ve written something it is very easy to change it.
Sometimes even that may be impossible in your present situation. In this case read something similar to what you’re going to write. Go over your research. Take a walk, play a game, go shopping or do whatever to take your mind off things and then come back to it. I’ve found this technique helps when you’re really stuck for words. I’ve been amazed what your mind can come up with once you’re fed it and allowed it time to think. I used to think I was procrastinating, but now I realize this is part of the creative process.
So best wishes to those of you, who like me, suffer from the occasional bit of writer’s block.