So You’ve Got Writer’s Block
I will, on occasion, get what is referred to as Writer’s Block. I don’t let it take hold for very long. I can’t, my livelihood depends on it, but it happens from time to time. Let me give you an example of the latest time I felt clogged. It happened recently when I was attempting a rewrite of my very first feature film screenplay.
I wrote this screenplay long before I got my degree in Creative Writing, long before I understood the principles of story arc and character arc, but I love the characters so much that I just couldn’t bear to part with it. As you can imagine, this piece of… this script, needs a lot of work. If it were a house it’d be a fixer-upper, it’d need major reconstruction. If it were a person it would need more plastic surgery than Joan Rivers. It’s in bad shape, is what I’m saying. I want to keep the theme and the premise, but it needs a major overhaul. I’m staring at the page and… I’ve got nothing. I’m searching my mind for images and all I can see is an elephant in a snowstorm. Then an idea hits me. I’ll work on something else! But the problem is I’m too focused on what I can’t do. I’m so focused on my writer’s block that I’m not letting anything else in. My creativity is vapor locked.
Here are a few things that I’ve found that can help with this troublesome problem. The first thing you need to do is get out of your head. I know, telling a creative person to get out of their own head is like telling a stripper that she doesn’t have to take her clothes off to pay her way through college, but it’s possible. Go for a walk. Don’t think about anything, just observe your surroundings. Listen to the birds. Feel the breeze. Eavesdrop on conversations. Give your mind the freedom it’s craving.
If you can’t go for a walk, take a shower. Feel the warm water cascading over your skin. Breathe in the steam. Listen to the sputter of the water being forced through tiny holes in the showerhead. Listen to the rhythmic patter as it splashes against the walls and floor of the shower stall. Watch it streak down the walls in jagged little patterns.
If you can’t take a shower, meditate. You can meditate anywhere. Just close your eyes and be in the moment. Be aware of your surroundings. Listen. Smell. Feel. Observe. All of these things will help stimulate your creative mind. Allow them to caress, massage, and manipulate. Then sit down in front of your computer, open up a document and just start writing whatever comes to mind. Just write. Let it flow. Let it happen. Soon you’ll find that you no longer have writer’s block. Soon you’ll find that you’ve got more things flowing through your brain than you can possibly keep track of. If you’re feeling blocked, just write. Until next week, happy writing.