The mighty proverbial block is perhaps the greatest killjoy for most writers. At least to me it is.
However, I do believe writers are not a unique & unfortunate victim of this dreaded mental disease. I am almost half sure there is also what could be termed as accountant’s block, designer’s block, painter’s block, banker’s block (this one slightly doubtful) or even porn star’s block (citations needed here).
Since I am a writer and not any of those that I just mentioned above (although the last one sounds like a very good alternative to being a lonely writer) I shall without drifting any further come straight to the climax…er… crux of this post.
Everything. Anything. Or at least something.
Things that interest you. Things that don’t. Things people are reading about. Things people are writing about. Things simple. Things sensational. Things profound. Things professional.
Books. eBooks. Blogs. Newspapers. Tabloids. Magazines. Just read.
However, it is not the reading per se but the knowledge, insights & perspectives that you gain from reading that is the key. When your horizon of knowledge is broader you see hidden connections and interactions between different & diverse issues, topics and disciplines. It opens up your mind and brings forth agility and fluidity of thoughts that throw open new possibilities.
QUOTE: ‘Read before you want others to read what you write.’ by some obviously wise man.
Apart from those tunes on your iPod, iPhone, iPad or iLaptop and iPC (with apologies to Apple), there are other treats for your ears to delight & exercise your mind as well.
How about listening to an inspiring speech? Do a Youtube, listen and get inspired. If great, serious oratory is not your thing, listen to stand-up comedians. Listen to anything that might infuse in you a new spirit or provoke a new thought-starter.
Listen to your readers. Listen to your editors. Listen to your critics. Just prick your ears, open your mind and listen. And you will hear and come across new ideas and ways to break the logjam.
QUOTE: ‘Listening never did any harm. It certainly brought no one down.’ by another wise man.
Watch the real world. Watch the virtual world. Watch what’s going around your world.
Watch news & documentaries. You personally may not need any information but your brain might.
Watch talk shows, talent shows, reality shows… whatever happens to be on show. You personally may not need any entertainment but your brain might.
Watch short films, not so short films as well as full feature films. Let not duration deter you. Just watch and enjoy. It makes you feel refreshed and you brain will feel refreshed and rejuvenated as well.
Heck, watch porn. If that’s what you feel like watching. If that will get you inspired… why not! Just go ahead. A bit of eccentricity in a writer is always welcome. And your brain might welcome it too.
QUOTE: Well, you can quote me on that porn tip. But just do a check. Freud might have said that before. That man had said a lot of things about sex after all!
4. Do Something
Move your ass. Go grab a cup of coffee. Or a mug of beer. Mow the lawn (Yeah, I know I know). Water the plants. Go for a swim. Meet your girl/guy. Catch-up with friends on Facebook. Do some shopping. Get a massage. Or just goof around a bit. But do something. Anything. Damn it.
Sitting tight worrying & whining about writer’s block never made anyone rich and famous.
QUOTE: Re-read the last line.
5. Do Nothing
Or just forget all of the above and do nothing.
Just log off. Disconnect. Shut your eyes. And go to sleep. Take a 20 minute power nap. Or 1 hour. Whatever. Empty your mind. Switch off your brain. And hit the sack.
Then rise & shine.
QUOTE: ‘You can’t rise and shine without sleeping first’ by Wilson (who?!).
Oh, that’s me. And yes, you can of course quote me on this as well.
Bonus Tip – Just Write Anyway
At first it won’t be worth the MS Word Doc you have written it on.
It would read & sound stupid. It would be incoherent and incomprehensible.
Amateurish. Disgusting. A monstrosity.
WARNING: It might even dent your self-esteem.
But write you will. Then you will forget about it. Just leave it alone.
You will come back to it later. To dissect. To re-edit. To re-write. To re-phrase. To refine.
Trust me, it works.
QUOTE: ‘Working hard never killed anyone.’ – David Ogilvy
How do you overcome yours? Share your tips & tricks below.
NOTE: All zany, wacky, weird, strange, out-of-the-box, far-out and even plain silly ideas are extremely welcome.
Wilson Modi is a Mercenary Writer who is often found raving, ranting and rambling on Facebook. Unlike what his moniker might suggest, he doesn’t necessarily shoot down friendship requests although he reserves the right to. Why? The moniker again. He is a mercenary.
Writer’s block photo by re_birf