Life often encroaches on my writing time. I usually find time to write just before bed, when things are quiet and I can write uninterrupted. Many times, I only manage to write a paragraph, or stanza or two, before the Sandman shows up and my eyelids close against my will. It’s frustrating to say the least. Today is one of those days. I’m physically exhausted, but the words are there, teetering on the razor blade edge of my mind. I can’t get to them. The words are floating around in my head like the noodles in alphabet soup. I don’t even know what “mood” I want to write. Should I do romance? Maybe drama….no…an empowering, “Black Girls Rock” type of piece! But no full sentences come. The rest of the words and the mood have settled and the bottom of the tomato broth. My hands are itching to type or write something!
This is part of the writing process: Writer’s block. (Or in my case: Writer’s Blur)
It happens, but thankfully, I have a few ways of dealing with it.
> Don’t write – That doesn’t sound like something a writer should say, but sometimes you really do need to take a break and come back to the piece when your mind is settled.
> Refer to the old notebooks – I have a collection of notebooks where I jotted full poems, random thoughts, bits and pieces of potential stories and poems. I didn’t think those things were any good back then, but sometimes one of those old thoughts hook up with a new idea and magic happens!
> Watch a documentary – I love watching documentaries about other people’s lives. That’s where I find the emotional “twist” to the stories and poems that I write. The film makers and the people in those films really go in deep. They don’t shy away from real emotions. Raw emotion is often the fuel that drives my writing.
> Read – Yup. Read. Explore how someone else constructed a story or poem. Think about their message. Compare it to my delivery. Usually, a good read will spur a new idea or simply relax me enough to allow creativity to flow freely again.
> Writing Prompts – A good prompt is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. I have several books that I refer to when I’m stuck for ideas. There are also a few websites that pretty good also. Mode Room Press has a great gadget on igoogle called, Writer’s Unblock Tool. It pulls together random phrases that you can use to create a story or poem.
> Blog – Yes. In case you didn’t realize it, this post exists because I have writer’s block. Blogging keeps me writing. My posts may not have a bless-ed thing to do with the story or poem I’m working on, but again, sometimes you need to step away and do something different to free your mind up.
The next time you find yourself suffering from writer’s block, give one of these tips a try. And if you have other suggestions on how to overcome writer’s block, help a sister out! Post them below!