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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Horror of Writer's Block... Dun, Dun, Dun! - #WriterlyWednesdays 2



Every Wednesday from now on I hope to have a guest author/blogger or talk about all thing writerly. I very much hope you enjoy this new blog feature. If you would like to be a guest author, or guest blogger, please fill in my Writerly Wednesday form and I will get back to you.

Today I have no lovely guest so you're stuck with me, I'm afraid ;) and I've chosen a topic that can strike fear into the heart of the most seasoned writer. However, first I just want to share a post I saw mentioned on G+, because every writer will get it: 19 Times Tumblr Told The Honest Truth About Being A Writer. Now on to the rest...

The Horror of Writer's Block ... Dun, Dun, Dun!

So I do not often suffer from Writer's Block. Oh, I suffer from procrastination enough, but that's about will power and has nothing to do with those awful moments when my brain is simply empty. On most days I wish I had the output of Enid Blyton who apparently produced 6000 words every single day, but we're not all writing machines and I'm still happy with my creative throughput :). However, just occasionally there are times when I simply cannot put words down on paper.

These are also not the same as days when I can write, but what comes out it utter crap. I may feel frustrated on those days and want to throw the PC out the window, but creation is still happening. What I am talking about are those horrific moments where it is as if I have lost the ability to create at all.

Over the years I have narrowed these days down to one thing: they happen when I am down, whether that be sad or lonely or worried.

I am not a writer who can create when she is out of sorts. Luckily for me I'm quite a buoyant personality, so these moments are rare. I know the stereotypical image of a creative genius is a tortured one, but this writer wishes she were a genius and does not do well with torture ;).

They usually occur when my husband is away on business. He travels for weeks at a time and I'm not good at letting him go. The worst is when he is away in China for a fortnight because I don't sleep well when he's not home so at the end of 14 days I'm sleep deprived as well as simply missing him. It's usually then when sometimes I sit at the computer and there is nothing in my brain and it feels as if there never will be again. Even reading through drafts I already have doesn't help. My brain becomes a word wasteland with the metaphorical tumble-weeds blowing across it.

In these instances I can't even go off and write something else, because it's not the current piece I'm working on that is causing any kind of block. I simply find I cannot write.

What I have found is that in these cases it is time for some self-TLC.

Sometimes I simply give myself the day off and curl up in front of the telly with some old favourites. I often fall back on Mission Impossible the original series because there is nothing more heart-warming than ending up believing that any situation can be solved by 5 people and some special effects makeup :).

Other times I drop all things to do with words and work on something visual, maybe a book cover or some banners or a piece of art. It's funny, but just because I go creatively blank with words and the ability to formulate a story, doesn't mean the same applies visually. I know, I'm weird.

I think the most important thing to realise if you have a moment like this is, as the Hitchhiker's Guide would say: DON'T PANIC. Don't flagellate yourself just because your creative juices have run dry. In fact, be nice to yourself, you'll get over the block quicker. We can all tell the difference between when we're just procrastinating and when we really need a break, so listen to your brain and take that break when you need it. Tomorrow may turn out to be a much brighter, more creative day.

So on that note, give yourself a hug because you deserve it and thank you for reading.

Do you ever suffer complete writer's block where all your creativity just seems gone, or, if you don't write, any other kinds of blocks? How do you deal with them?

4 comments:

  1. I often get inspired from viewing clips at You Tube...
    Ray Bradbury kept himself surrounded with the pieces of his wonderful Collection, for "inspiration"....
    Sometimes just "stepping away" for a "break" is best though...

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    1. Whatever works for you is how it should be done :)

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  2. We are most Always "out of sorts" .... thus we Have to deal with it....
    give yourself a bit of a "pat on the back" from time to time as well....
    for Dungeons and Dragons... we wrote an entire world ... it had so Many "factors and Facts" that all I would need do is to create some random determination charts ... some dice rolls... and you have enough "pieces" to "seamlessly" craft it all together...

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    Replies
    1. An entire world must have been a lot of work.

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