Writers are writers because they write. Sounds simple enough, but the reality is they write because they can’t not write. It begins in many different ways…a diary, journal, maybe a short poem, eventually leading to the realization that one is a writer.
Hitting a creative block is frustrating territory for a writer. I have known fellow writers to stop writing for months because they were overwhelmed by their inability to move their story forward. Why they are stuck is not as important as a willingness to jump back in. If you are experiencing a creative block try one of the following strategies.
1. Natalie Goldberg suggests scheduling daily timed writing practices where you keep your pen moving as a way to develop your writing muscle. I don’t engage in daily timed writing but I have found that this technique helps me break through blocks when I’m feeling stuck. It’s simple…when the timer starts you begin writing and keep the pen moving. Start with a 10 minute session. Eventually increase to 40 minutes if possible. I have done this practice where I end of up with three pages of gibberish:
“This is stupid I can’t think of anything, I’m stuck…stuck…stuck. I’m soooooo frustrated. I don’t know where this character is going…blah blah blah. I don’t like doing this. What is the point? I’m moving my pen but going nowhere. This story is really stuck…nothing..nothing..nothing..”
Eventually at about the 8 minute mark something sneaks through my mental chatter and I am writing and don’t want to stop. For me, the trick is in keeping the pen moving. If I stop the pen then my mind says “I don’t know what to write” and the page remains blank.
2. E.B. White said, “Write about it by day, and dream about it by night.” When struggling on the direction of a piece or how to end a story, trying using your dream state to nudge your work along. Put a notebook next to your bed and climb into bed. Then, write down the issue you’re struggling with. Close the notebook, ask the universe to help you discover the answer and go to sleep. When you wake up before you climb out of bed, write down your first thoughts. Try this for at least a week or until you unlock your block.
If allowed to grow, writer’s block can fester and became a wound so big it kills a manuscript. Before that happens, I use one of these strategies to push through. What do you do when you are feeling stuck?
Mary Jo Guglielmo is an intuitive life strategist that helps clients push through their blocks, envision their path and take the necessary action to live their true north. For more information check out www.donorth.biz
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