I have blogged about Writer’s Block on and off for the past year. This heinous dark thief of creativity can affect a writer in trivial or monumental ways and often rears its head at the worst of times. Writers Block can frustrate a writer’s creativity and source of inspiration and thus impede their ability to translate mental concepts into written words.
But not to fear. There are numerous simple exercises one can use to slay this sinister villain of imaginativeness. Here is a comprehensive list of methods I use to fight off this evildoer. This is a great blog to save to your Favorites or Bookmarks. Okay, here we go:
“What if …” Scenarios These two words have inspired writers and poets to pen masterpieces that are now considered literary classics. Think of a “What if …” statement, then make a pot of coffee, sit down, and begin writing. Please take a moment to read this brief link, then try it your self.
What would you do if you were not a writer: Here's a little exercise I do to get the creative juices flowing. I ask myself a question, "What would I be if I could be anything in the world other than a writer?" Then I place myself in this situation and think, “What can I do with this?” Again, take a moment to read this brief link and you’ll be amazed at how such a simple exercise can open the door for multiple stories.
Ask other bloggers to help with a particular problem: This is a great exercise with a huge payoff. Example: I was struggling with a particular chapter. I needed a jailbreak. And not just any ol’ jailbreak. I needed to bust out someone from the center of a state-of-the-art facility. It had to be clever and high tech. The response was 40 terrific comments. Although I won’t use all of the ideas in the actual jailbreak, I can use them while the characters are brainstorming ideas to bust the professor out. So I ended up with two chapters, the jailbreak itself, and a chapter covering the planning stage. Two for the price of one!
Research the research: I don’t have a particle accelerator in my garage. Good thing I don’t need one in order to perform research in the area of physics. I can research the research. Make two lists: One of topics you would like to research and one people who have a deep understanding of such topics. Then, go to theoretical physics or the name of a respected expert in the respective field of your story. For example, type in “theoretical physics” and a multitude of clips will come up that you can watch. These are free, concise, and usually reliable sources.
Weekend Follies Captions: This is a great way to get the creativity moving forward. On weekends I often post my Weekend Follies, five pictures of cute animals doing silly things and ask people to write a clever or witty captions. This exercise quickly stimulates the mind (best to do with a cup of coffee) and helps the neurons in the brain make those all-important chemical synapses between the nerve cells in the brain.
Guest bloggers: I belong to a few Yahoo! Writers Groups and we each take turns hosting. These are talented people; writer, editors, poets, teachers, researchers, etc. with fresh ideas. I subscribe to all posts, quickly eliminate those that are not pertinent, then reading and sometime saving the relevant ones.
Finally, ask your editor: You do have an editor, don’t you? Think of an editor more as a mentor. A life coach. A friend in need. Your editor is one of the best sources to bounce ideas off. Just don’t call them in the middle of the night. They hate that.
Please join me Monday as I visit Jemi Fraser’s blog and we discuss an emerging genre: Modern Steampunk.