Sunday, May 9, 2010

Beating Writer's Block Blues

Happy Mother's Day Everyone!

Planning on not blogging today, I just happened across Confident Writing's post on distractions and writer's block. Writing out some ways that I deal with those moment for the comment section made me realize that I actually had some juice for a blog post of my own.

So, since I've recently just gotten through a case of writer's block blues, I thought I would share with you just how I deal with those moments. When I say writer's block blues, I mean those times when I am just too down on my writing to see straight, and writing each word seems like an uphill battle.

When that happens, I find these methods to be my best:

1. Writing poetry when I can't seem to write prose.

2. Getting a piece of junk mail type paper, and jotting down random thoughts. Basically, I'm telling myself, "see it's ok if these words are life-changing, I just am going to get a few down anyway."

3. Writing in a tiny notebook, or writing about a tiny subject - a fingernail, the petal on a flower, the grain of wood on my old table, the shape of a spoon, my cat's mustache, etc.

4. Taking a little notebook with me wherever I am, and just jotting down random words, thoughts, feelings in short phrases.

5. Drawing a treasure map, even though my drawing is atrocious, and thinking about what the treasure could be.

6. Writing a four to five sentence exercise. Trying to write the basis of a scene or conflict within four sentences, or trying to write just dialogue that somehow tells which character is speaking without any "Joe said, Sandra said" type tags.

7. Taking a short walk, or cuddling my husband, kids, dogs or cat. Basically giving myself a breath of real life to infuse my writing with something real.

8. Freewriting for a five minutes, or ten, or fifteen, or whatever works. Freewriting is just writing as fast as I can about whatever pops into my head while the keys are typing, or my pen is scribbling. I literally do not stop the motion until the timer goes off. Sometimes I actually have a subject in mind first, but many of my freewrites start with: "I can't seem to write lately" and go on for a full pity party from there. Sometimes it helps just to get that off my chest.

9. Pulling an idea from a hat, or a writing book and just running with it even it has nothing to do with my current projects.

10. Hmm. Ran out of my favorite ideas, so here's your chance to help me out. What do you do to beat the writer's block blues?


Julie Dao said...

Tyrean, these are wonderful things to do when you experience the dreaded block! I am a big fan of taking the short walk - sometimes there's nothing better than just physically taking yourself away from the story. I'm going to be borrowing some of these ideas the next time I get stuck!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks Julie! I like to take walks too, and dance around the living room, or sometimes just stretch to get myself back into the flow of writing. My dogs, of course, always think that the walk would be best.