Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Over Coming Writers Block

Since I've been back at school myself, I have a lot of writing assignments. All related to English, either analyzing great literary works or attempting to create one myself. :-)

Of course once it's assigned, everyone, at some point, will experience what's known as writer's block; you stare at a blank screen (these days most type on computers, right?) and you've got nothing. The thoughts are slow and laborious. You can't get your to do list out of your head and before you know it your home is spotless, you've revamped your entire closet but your screen page is still blank.

Frustrating for sure.

I have realized a few tips that have helped me over come this dreaded race against the deadline. Maybe you will find them useful too.

1. Write: that probably sounds funny since writing is the problem you are having, right? The thing is, don't try to write about your topic or subject matter, allow yourself to free write whatever comes to your mind. This helps to clear the mental clutter and get your brain focused.

2. Hand write: my oldest son suggested this and it was AMAZING! The motion of writing with your hands is fluid and seems to use a different part of your brain than typing. Just as your hand flows freely across the page, so will the thoughts.

3. Don't write: yep. Step away from the computer or page and do something else. Preferably outside. I have "written" some of my best work while watering the lawn, riding my bike or going for a run. Seriously. Once your mind has refreshed itself, return to the page and see how much easier it is. I promise.

4. Create something else: again, step away from the page. Often I will allow the deadline to dictate how I *should* be spending my time. My heart wants to sew or crochet but my mind reminds me of that due date. I sit there trying to force something that I'm just not feeling. However, I have recently begun to do the opposite. When feeling the crunch, I will purposely participate in a completely different creative pursuit like sewing or crochet. I won't focus on what I should be doing, but simply enjoy the process of creation in the moment. I have found that when I return to write, ideas come easier and better. I was stuck on piece and feeling frustrated. I called it quits and worked on a sewing project instead. I almost felt guilty. After I finished sewing, I was struck with inspiration and was able to finish the piece in no time and it was even better and livelier than when I had started it earlier. I am now convinced that creativity breeds creativity!

There. I know they seem to all contradict each other, don't they? However, everyone's creative process is different. I have found each of those ideas to work for me at different times depending on the situation. I hope some of them are new and helpful to you too.

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