Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tips for Writer’s Block

The BLOCK happens to everyone at some point in their writing career. For most of us, it happens as often as the common cold.

My recent bout of the disease hit about the same time my summer vacation ended and I had to go back to work. Time has become a premium and the fear of wasting it keeps me from being productive; that and the seriously droopy eyes from waking up at 5 a.m. I’ve even noticed my publisher commented on the dreaded block on his blog this week. Must be catching!

Here are a few tips I use to help fend off the Block.
• Be Proactive, not Reactive. Take writing breaks and keep your ‘skills’ sharp. When the words start to fade and your mind wonders, take a break. Anything from taking a walk to refresh the mind, to a mini shopping trip, to an hour in the park with the family. If you enjoy other creative outlets, put them to use now. Create a show-stopping dinner, paint the sunset from you window…you get the idea.

• Inspiration in a Box. I don’t have much time to write during the week, usually whatever is left over from the day after work, home, and family. To help jump right back into a story I keep a small box loaded with items to help me ‘get into the mood’ of the story quickly. A scented candle, a CD of music matching the theme of the story, pictures of the setting, characters, and a copy of a plot outline help me pick up where I dropped off with little lag time.

• Refill the Creativity Well. Take your muse on a date. As odd as it sounds, when I get stuck I take my muse to the Goodwill. It’s cheap, close by, and full of an odd assortment on items that tickle my muse’s fancy. What gets your creative juices flowing? Maybe it’s a chat with a fellow writer, a good book, a weekend trip away, whatever it is, remember to be kind to your muse and treat her/him well.

What are your tricks of the trade when battling the BLOCK?


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