The Wall

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.

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5 thoughts on “The Wall

  1. Awe the creative block! Who hasn’t been there, well I guess those who refuse to even attempt a creative thought would not have been there. It is funny I too have been stuck on a chapter of my book, and the sad thing is it is not because the story isn’t there, but because I need four names and they have to be a form of Gaelic to boot. So I guess you would say that my block is not a creative block but a research block!

    I do have a way that usually helps get rid of writers block though… It requires discipline and action. I think you have that because you yearn to get back at the keyboard. It is called free-writing. It is a daily practice that you do for 20 minutes a day. Other people say three pages, but I like the time limit. You basically write for twenty minutes a day in a journal. I like to create a folder on my laptop named journal, and that is where I put my journal free writings. They are just Office Word files. You can write about anything you want to. If you can not think of anything to write then write about not being able to think about a single thing to write. Use it as a venting system, and you will be amazed as you do this, suddenly creative thought will flow out on to the page. You may have to dump for a while till the creative thoughts jumps out onto the page, but it will come eventually. It may take a day, it may take 3 days, 2 weeks I don’t know, but it will come and it be amazing thoughts that flow out of your head. You may find yourself one day defining a new book, or defining a new character of most interesting proportions. On the other hand you may find yourself finishing that other project that you have been stuck on or you may find your self doing all of the above plus some! It is a discipline that I learned from my college English teacher. If you can practice the habit on a daily basis you will never be for a shortage of things to write about.

    Now for finding those four Gaelic names for four awful men!

    Oh by the way if you would like to get your mind off of whatever is blocking you. On one of my blogs we are having a writing contest for charity. You can check it out at http://www.the777man.com. It will be a lot of fun and maybe just what will cure the block. A new fun project for no other reason than to have fun and raise some money for charity!

    Peace and Harmony,
    Sallyjane
    PS sorry this was so long, but the free writing does work!

  2. Yes; You can always do more of something, but you cannot do anything out of nothing. Therefor I have found that it is good to start writing anything, even if its crap. When I write I find a lot of sand, but sometimes there is a diamond šŸ™‚
    Maggie

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