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So You’ve Got Writer’s Block

May 25, 2015

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.

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6 Comments
  1. As usual, your posts are short, to the point, and a pleasure to read, Tony. My thoughts: I normally don’t get Writer’s Block since my imagination is constantly overflowing in different directions; oftentimes, I can’t sleep because of it. What prevents me from buckling down and getting to work is daydreaming. I consider daydreaming a form of meditation. Don’t you think? The daydreaming that takes me away is the very thing that brings me back to computer keyboard. Now if you’ll excuse me. I must go daydream — or meditate — whatever you want to call it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I “meditate” as well. I rarely get blocked because I will often start writing about whatever is on my mind. That usually opens the flood gates to my creativity. Sometimes I have too much stress to be creative, but I can always write about what’s giving me stress, or I can… meditate. Thanks for you input, Zanna. 🙂

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  3. Hii! I want to write scripts and novel. It has been a few years gap now, and i feel I’m missing some elements I did in my school and college days (When I used to think only about writing and stories)! I really am trying to get in the gear, but the stress from different direction just overwhelms me sometimes.

    You are right in this article! Taking time out does relaxes me. But any suggestion as to how I can get my previous expressions in writing again? I seemed to have lost the expression 😦

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    • **grammar error alert** Sorry for the typo!

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    • I’m not sure what you mean by “you’ve lost your expression.” Do you mean you can’t find your passion? You can’t seem to find anything to write about?

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      • I think you are right on that, plus I am not reading as much as I used to. But recently, Tony, I have lifted up my spirits and decided to start fresh 🙂 I will write a romantic or a thriller for Kindle this year.

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