Get a Grip on that Writer's Block
© Roy A Barnes - All Rights Reserved
When authors can’t find any new ideas to
write about or are stuck in the middle of their manuscripts, the feeling is
one of being mired in creative quicksand. This condition can be remedied
expediently if you will apply the tips I have implemented to navigate myself
quickly through the valley of the shadow of writer’s block:
RESEARCH MARKETS: I strive to follow this
rule: "If I am not writing, then I need to be researching markets, and if I
am not researching markets, then I had better be writing." Oftentimes, I
come across new ideas to write about because I spend some time daily
checking the market listings of newsletters and databases. The way editors
craft their market listings varies from publication to publication, so you
will eventually come upon a market listing that will reignite your
WRITE AT A COLLEGE LIBRARY: If you
normally write at home, seek out your closest college library to put an end
to that writer’s block. There is an ambiance of creativity and intellectual
pursuit in these places of higher learning. Most college libraries allow any
local resident the opportunity to use many of their facilities for free.
LISTEN TO YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC: Get works
from your personal collection and crank it up to your desired decibel level.
Don’t listen to the radio, where you often have to wait for your favorite
tunes to come on while being barraged with endless commercials and the same
current hits being played every two hours. A flow of quality music has this
special way of bringing deep emotions to the surface. It is when we tap into
our feelings that new ideas and our best writing will emerge.
TAKE SOME TIME OFF FROM WRITING: Give
yourself a break from attempting to produce something. Take a day, weekend,
or a longer amount of time off. If you can, leave town for awhile. I come
back from my journeys ready to write with a new sense of purpose. One’s
writing is best when it’s done with interest and from the heart. The writing
profession should not imitate the role of Inspector #48 on some assembly
line. Furthermore, apply for all the press trips you can that are in your
area or beyond. Going to these events will result in more writing ideas, as
well as networking opportunities with other scribes who may help you find
some good tonics for treating writer’s block.
WATCH WRITING-THEMED MOVIES: When I see my
profession showcased on the silver screen, I’m able to identify with the
characters portraying writers because they are often going through the
positive and not-so positive issues onscreen that I go through in reality.
Two of my favorite movies about writing are REDS, a 3 hour-plus epic about
writers during the time of the Russian Revolution in the early 1900’s. My
other favorite movie with a writing theme is called THE SHINING. This movie,
if nothing else, will scare you out of your writer’s block! I mean, you’ll
realize what real writer’s block is after you witness Wendy Torrance peeking
at her husband’s manuscript that chillingly reads "All work and no play
makes Jack a dull boy" typed over and over, page after page!
When you really think about it, writer’s
block has some messages for you: It’s to let go of having to have a new idea
in every waking moment; to go out and explore the world around you; and to
get into touch with your inner self, where the real ground zero of your
Roy A. Barnes writes from the windy plains
of southeastern Wyoming USA. Besides Writer2Writer, his writing-themed
articles have appeared at suchpublications like The Fabulist Flash, The Busy
Freelancer, The InkSpotter News, Absolute Write, and Writing for DOLLARS.
His poetry and prose have been featured at such mediums as C/Oasis, Poesia,
e-clips, Breath & Shadow, Skive Magazine, and The First Line.