Obstacle #6: Writer’s block

I guess I did something right in my last post (Revisions), a fair few of you seemed to share similar feelings. 🙂 (Is this ‘like’ similar to the Facebook ‘like?’ Bring on the confusion!)

Today’s topic: the ultimate writer’s bane! Writer’s block. (Cue dreadful music.)

I’m pretty sure this doesn’t require an explanation, unless the assumption that eeeveryone experienced it at some point or another is wrong. Which it could be… If you’re one of the lucky few, do give the rest of us some tips!

I’ve read and heard plenty about it from famous writers to strangers and friends. All in all, we all get stuck for different, endless reasons at different points in our (writing) lives. In no particular order, these include:

  • bad mood
  • lack of inspiration
  • not enough time (aka too busy/tired/etc)
  • any previously mentioned Obstacle
  • obstructions by things outside of your control
  • procrastination
  • etc, etc, etc

The answer to unblock yourself, if you’ve guessed it, depends on you. I’d like to say there’s no one cure for everyone, but there is one common practice to aim for: let your mind wander! And as many reasons as we have to lock down our minds and creative juices, there are even more to unlock them.

Maybe take a day off from work, read or re-read a book, have a day in and laze around in your PJs eating junk food watching movies or TV shows all day, go take a hike (literally, not– you know), go somewhere you haven’t been and sit there for hours people watching. There are a lot of things you can do, anything that’ll let you think or ponder freely should do the trick. It might take a few tries to find your niche, or if you’re like me it probably depends on your mood that day. (Helpful, right?)

I would guess a good number of you already carry a small notepad or notebook for notes, which definitely helps. I’ve found myself on public transportation when inspiration roundhouses me in the gut. Or you know, the inevitable time you’re trying to fall asleep. Better write those down, they don’t usually come back… (True story, I lost a perfect ending this way before!)

Sure you can force yourself to write a paragraph or for 15 mn every day, or adhere to a certain time (5 to 5:30) every day to get some writing in, but I can’t do that. I find myself wishing for a routine, but if I had one, I’d grow terribly bored… (flashback to agonizingly boring high school schedule) But if you love routines, well hey, set it up and who knows, miracles do happen! Don’t give up too early though, apparently it takes about 4 weeks for new habits to set in and feel normal. Good luck!  頑張れ!

Work in progress update

As for me, I’ll just say that after having a brilliant idea to consolidate two separate short stories into one – for a series – I was stuck. I couldn’t even start writing anything but the setting and even that went through a re-write soon after. It’s been weeks, or uh– a few months to be honest, but just earlier this week I got around to writing a tidbit, and now it seems the juices won’t stop flowing!

Ideas after ideas, from seemingly totally unrelated things that just click and tada~, it’ll fit in there somewhere. I amaze myself sometimes, especially with genius strokes (not to be too modest :P). So I hope I’ll get a few pages written and/or re-written for that first chapter, and maybe soon I’ll be able to post a brief summary of the first book! Stay tuned. 😀

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