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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

About Writing: What To Do When The Block's Against You (Part One)

If there's one thing I've learned right then and there on that first day I took to writing as a teenager, it's this: situations will come when you have a glorious idea, so good and realistic that for a time (that could stretch to forever) you fall at a loss for where to begin. Or another frustrating situation where you've made headway and are progressing unhindered till you suddenly hit a high and solid brick wall that leaves you looking for breath and stops you from continuing on your writing adventure, which, I believe, is even more distressing than the former. I've been there and to let new, maturing writers know, there's no escaping it. I'm very certain all bestsellers simply have to agree with me here. That there are times when the words just won't come.
In my view, the Writer's Block is a writer's sworn, and worst, enemy. It is as inevitable as death. It's even more inevitable than death, to tell you the truth. And it comes at the worst possible times, without warning. I could go on about the block. I hate it. You'd hate it too. It hampers progress, kills dreams, reduces objectives to smolders, makes you lose faith in yourself and your talent and above all, concentration in the story. But after studying helpful tips from friends and the web, I've come up with about 10 (or more) simple but efficient ways to take the battle to it.
  1. First, they say Prevention is better than Remediation. It's better to do as much as you can in keeping away from the Block's crosshairs. But how? Outline your story to the tee. Let the details of your story have details. Write a plot of the plot and as you grow through the tale, keep it close by as a reference of sorts. If you have an idea what to write next, where you're going next, the Block'll have less chances of ambushing you. So make well-detailed notes of your story before the first draft. If along the line you discover a twist in plot (which is usually a cause of the Block), you can go back to your note and make modifications so you don't slam in blindly into trouble.
  2. Manipulate your environment to give you inspiration everywhere you turn. Do you have writers you've set as goals, have a big poster of them up on the wall facing your writing desk. Have their novels residing on your writing desk. Have everything you need to make it convenient for researching right where you are. A pleasant natural scenery would do you a world of good. Like still-life paintings or your window overlooking your lawn.
  3. Try to have several projects going at the same time, but not in such a way that the other interferes with the current one and vice versa. This way, if the juice stops coming in one, you can refresh your outlook with the other. This way, you don't stop writing and you therefore give the Block the middle finger to its face.
  4. Think of writing as an end's meet, not with frivolous attention. Because if you aren't serious with writing, why write then. You project deserves all of your attention. Keep distractions at bay. If you can't, put fail-safes to put you back on track. See nugget 2.
  5. Write... write... write... Forget grammatical errors and even spellings you are not completely certain of. Remember it's a draft. Here you can make as many mistakes as you want. The objective is to get to the end of the project. Revision comes later, followed by editing, and more editing. Editing while writing only slows you down and leaves you susceptible to the Block.
  6. Have a favorite recourse. I like to watch movies in my free time so when I fall victim, I relax by watching a good movie. Try to make the fall back in line with your writing. If you're writing fantasy, read a fantasy book, watch Lord Of The Rings again (I assume you have already). If you are writing historical fiction, watch the history channel. If you're writing non-fiction, there're lots of recourse you can turn to. You need just one.
The second part will be here this very time next week (I hope).
Have a productive Tuesday, friends.

Quote of the day
"Writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all"
~ Charles Bukowski

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