Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dealing with Writer's Block

Photo by Charles Jeffrey Danoff

Nearly every story writer has confronted a block when sitting down to start a story. While daunting, “writer’s block” can be overcome by using a few story starter tips.

First, understand that the block itself doesn’t mean anything. Writers who have the most difficulty overcoming the initial steps in getting a story down often think of the block as being indicative of either a problem with the story idea, or with them as a writer. Neither is the case. Creativity is work, and finding a solution to the block is just the first task in completing that work.

Next, know that there are some practical steps you can take to get the juices flowing. For example, if you have a story idea in mind that deals with a particular character, start out the story by focusing in as narrowly as you possibly can about that character. It could be her hairstyle, clothing, fingernails. The idea is simply to train your attention on something very specific, block out everything else, and write about that one thing. Write as much as you can about it; remember, the point is to get something started.

Another tactic that some writers use is to think about something that is not the story they have in mind, and write about that. They free themselves to write about whatever comes to mind, as opposed to what they are trying to bring to mind, and this allows them to move past the initial inertia of story writing. Every so often, these “throw away” stories actually become part of the original story, and they are often useful as a way to engage the creative mind, so it is rarely wasted time.

There are numbers of story starter tips that have been used successfully by writers for many years. The point of all of them is simply to find the thing that helps you get started. It doesn’t even have to be writing. Some writers are able to sit down and start their stories after listening to music, riding a bike, or walking the dog.

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1 comment:

  1. Such a great post. Thanks for the helpful words and encouragement here ;0)


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