The dreaded beast has struck! And now you can't find the right words to put to paper (or is it computer today?). But what can we do about it? Wait for it to pass? Bite our nails down to the wick? Felt knit miniature replicas of our pets from their fur? While all of those choices sound equally amazing, I have a few suggestions for overcoming writer's block that might help you out like they've helped me. 1) Read. You're not writing, so why not engage in the activity that probably got you interested in writing in the first place?
“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
This is a great way to reignite that drive within yourself, whether it's by reading a story so horrible you challenge yourself to do better, or you become so inspired by a character that you want to write someone just as captivating in one of your worlds.
Personally, I like to take a new writing style that I didn't realized I'd enjoy and then try using it myself. This could be, for example, KA Applegate's YA style of writing that really encapsulates teenage everything. It's not always a success, but it can definitely help get those words flowing again.
2) Forget about writing.
For real, go out and enjoy the things you haven't had time for. Sometimes what we really need is a re-balance; to look around us and go 'holy hell, I haven't seen the sun for three months' and then go out and enjoy the sunlight.
You might have a deadline you're being pushed to meet, but it's still important to go out and try to enjoy yourself. You can't spend all day everyday focused on only one thing. We need variety to thrive! You need to spend time outside with nature, go see a friend or two, visit family, volunteer somewhere, etc..
This is also a great way to get new source material... I'm lookin' at you great aunt Becky.
3) Music. I go through these phases where I write in a quiet environment for so long that I start to strongly dislike sounds. I find that if I set aside my aversion, and listen to music that I've always found makes me energetic or changes my mood in a positive way , I feel better.
This doesn't immediately make me want to write, but I do find that it changes my mindset from 'WHY CAN'T I WRITE?!?!?!?' to 'I'm a boss ass bitch' and then I start to feel more motivated to get things done.
It's a process, ok? I'll be honest, I recently went on vacation to Thailand and then Vietnam (ask me about it!) and went head first into vacation mode and left writing mode behind entirely. This was followed by a few interviews in Hong Kong, which I didn't really enjoy and left me figuring out the logistics of opening up my own company or looking for a job in Shenzhen. That was a lot for me, so I'm only just now settling into some kind of writing routine again, and to be honest, it's pretty sporadic still as I find potential office space and look at the legalities of a work permit for my own company in China. So pencil me in as also being in writer's block type of area as I try to carve out time and the willpower to write more on a new, ever changing schedule. Now, I do have some good news! Two of my poems 'I'm Sorry' and 'Hidden Thoughts' have been published in Potomac's most recent issue! Woo! Check it out here: https://mcblogs.montgomerycollege.edu/.../issues/issue-73/ Recent links to writing: Check out our Dual Language Learners, English-Chinese. We have: Peter's Day at the Dog Shelter Guided By the North Star Betty's Pet Jetty
It was a fun project, and we decided to share it! Each line is in English, Chinese pinyin, and Chinese characters. My poem "Placebo" came out as well! Check it out here!
My other links:
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