Now, I’m not entirely sure if I’m making this up or if someone actually said this, but it is a quote that resonates with me:
Creativity goes where creativity flows..
The scary thing is: writer’s block will hit you eventually, and it will smack you in the face and take a tumble with you until the point comes that you’re on your knees screaming “I don’t want to be a writer anymore!”
You had a brilliant idea for a story – even better, as you began to write even more ideas came pouring in. A stroke of brilliance. “This is going to be the best story ever!”
**BAM. SPLAT. KAPOW.**
Where have all those creative juices gone?
You don’t understand. The initial idea is brilliant and now – somewhere along the way – the flow of absoloute awesome has vanished… But has it, really?
Yes, writer’s block does affect each and every one of us. Sometimes for just a week, at other times for a month – or even longer. What can we do to overcome this? I’m going to share a couple of nuggets from my secret horde of writing genius (sorry, that does sound a little egotistical, doesn’t it?) to help you get out of this miasma of sorrow and pain.
First off: take a deep breath. Calm down. Shhh. It happens to us all.
Second: I want you to take a look at your writing – what is blocking you? For me, it was a sense of boredom and feeling like the story was going nowhere. I took a leaping step back, re-evaluated and changed a lot.
Third: What if your story is brilliant and there is nothing to change? Take a few days off then jump back in… “Wait!” I can hear you cry. “What if I’m still stuck?!”
Talk about it. A friend, a family member, anyone who might care enough to listen. I’m lucky in that while my partner isn’t a big reader, he is a big fan of movies. They’re stories, too.
I will tell him what’s happening and wait for his appropriate comments and questions. If the questions don’t come? Maybe you need a re-think. Are you giving too much away and the story has lost the intrigue that it began with?
I find that as I’m talking about my story, explaining my characters and answering questions, I’m also now considering things I had never thought out before. “Why are they there, instead of there?” Because.. “Why is he like that?” Because. “How does he know where to go?” Because…
It’s strange, but as I answer questions automatically to things that I hadn’t considered before I am also discovering more about my story, my world and my characters. I write it all down.
Now it’s time to go detective mode: who’s in conflict? Why? Is there another back-story in there that will affect your character now? Are you portraying it?
Suddenly, my excitement is rekindled and I want to answer each and every question – maybe not all at once, I’ll hide a few sweet nuggets until right at the end (who can resist a good twist?), but that’s what brings around new questions. New answers. New ideas.
You can’t force this. When you’re pulling your hair out looking for a sentence then I have one thing to say: Get your fingers away from the keyboard. Step back… BACK, I SAY!
If your words aren’t flowing as naturally as breathing, then you are pushing words to paper rather than following the flow of your own creative juice. If we read it, we’ll know.
Keep an open mind. Consider every option, every character, every emotion. What if it happens like this. “Yeah, but, I don’t want him to-” Shh, shh. It’s up to your character, not up to you. Go with the flow – you may find that your characters have their own minds and ideas (scary, isn’t it? Aren’t they supposed to be figments of our imaginations?).
I want you to just enjoy what you’re writing. I want you to be surprised with what comes through your fingertips. I want you to have an idea, write it and find that you’ve written a different thing entirely. If that happens? Don’t just change it. WHY? Because it’s when you’re in the zone that you’re the best, and sometimes you will surprise yourself with your own genius. Pat yourself on the back.
Written by Elisabeth