Over the last month or so, I have found myself coming up against the dreaded ‘wall’ of writer’s block. The bane of every wordsmith’s life, the thorn in all scribbler’s sides, the stuff of nightmares for word-slingers the world over. And so, in an attempt to battle this monster that freezes my fingers, I am facing it head on, jabbing away with the only weapon in my arsenal – whatever words managed to scrabble their way onto my screen.
There are numerous methods that writers take up in order to defeat the frustrating fog of writer’s block – some spend days writing single words down on scraps of paper, others stop whatever project they’re working on and begin an entirely new scheme, and some folk just set down their pens, pick up another’s book, and call it a day on the whole writing lark.
In the hunt to find inspiration, I fell across a website devoted entirely to the counsel and consolation of befuddled writers – Writer’s Block Help offers a variety of opportunities to get over the hump of silence. Poem and story starters give the first few words from which a poet can blow the dust off their creativity and take hold of their vocation once more. 101 writing tips suggest practical solutions to the problem such as rest, exercise, avoiding popular media, as well as more focused work through character maps and plot guidelines.
The thing that I find to be most infuriating about writer’s block, is the overwhelming urge to write something, anything, but a complete lapse in memory for any words relating to any topic. Even sitting down to write the conclusion to an essay, requiring just six or so sentences, was a feat that kept me up for many hours as I desperately strained to find sense from my keyboard. After an agonising few days, I completed the assignment, though my thirst to type was not quenched.
My way of beating the beast – writing about it. When all else fails, look to the thing that is frustrating you, and start typing all those thoughts and vents you’ve been having. And maybe, hopefully, it will open the gates once more and allow the words to flow from your fingers like they did not so long ago. This is my attempt. Even if it is in vain, it is one more article to my name, and one other topic of debate that I may look back on the next time the idiom-drought strikes. Or it may have just been a temporary sedative to my current vexation… we shall see.