Wednesday, July 20, 2016

#Creativity Tips: Five Ways to Smash Writer's Block

Never, never, never, never, never. Well, almost never. That's how often I have writer's block when it comes to client copy. I'm a professional writer; I can't wait for inspiration to hit -- deadlines hit on a daily basis. This is a good thing. But ....

This week, I've been struggling to finish my book proposal. We're down to the final version. My agent wants two more sample chapters and a few minor edits. No problem, right?

Well, the first additional chapter was easy to write. The edits were easy to make. And then, AIEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Writer's block gone crazy. A chapter that should have taken two hours to write took two days. And I'm still not ready to say it's done.

Since my mom says everything happens for the best, I went looking for a silver lining. And I found one! The experience did remind me of these five tips for smashing writer's block:
  1. "Please move away from the scene of the accident. There's nothing to see, folks. Nothing to see." Get up. Leave the computer, the tablet, the notebook, whatever you're writing on or in and walk away. Inspiration is like love; it shows up when you're not looking for it.
  2. Do something that forces you to think of other things. I like to go for a drive. I have to focus on my driving, because I have no innate sense of direction. Don't believe me? Ask mybestfriendinthewholeworldsincefourthgrade Lynn.
  3. If you, like me, have words on the page but you're pretty sure they stink, look again. Is the lead hidden in paragraph four? First paragraphs are often triggers -- necessary to get going, but then you need to pull them. Do it. Cut your copy. (I was going to use Pull the Trigger as the headline for this post. Given the current state of the world, I decided against that.)
  4. Get physical. Your brain may not be working the way you'd like, but there's that beautiful body of yours! Use it.
  5. Stop beating yourself up. We can't be brilliant 24/7. Have faith. The words you're searching for will find you.
From my free e-book. Enjoy!



1 comment:

Mark Levin said...

Meditation also works. Clear the mind. Write for ten minutes -- anything at all. Just write. Let your mind flow. A friend of mine told me to do that. (Oh yeah, you.) Then take 20 minutes just off, doing something else. Reset the gears, then see how the machine works. (Turn off your computer [brain], walk away and turn it back on in 20 minutes.
Then call Jan and ask for a good idea.