Ohhh Nooo!!!! Not The Deadly Writer's Block!

Ohhh Nooo!!!! Not The Deadly Writer's Block!

It's like running on a track and getting a cramp in your leg! It's like kissing some cute boy and getting your tongue caught up in his braces! It's like having your fucking car breakdown on you on an empty road in the middle of damn BLIZZARD!!! Arrrrrggghhhh!!! I swear, if I end up going to Hell when I die, I'm sure my punishment will be hours and hours of sitting in front of the screen trying to battle the curse of writer's block! There's no way around it. It can be a bitch sometimes, believe me!

What causes it? You're writing, moving along with your story, everything is going great. And then, all of the sudden, it's like you get your 'zipper' stuck somewhere in the middle of a sentence. Everything you try to say comes out wrong, everything you try to do seems silly, and your characters just seem to go on strike and refuse to work with you. You can get stuck on a single word, or on an important scene, or maybe the whole story starts to fall apart in your mind and you feel like the whole thing is written in vain. Hey...it happens. Don't worry about it. It doesn't make you a bad writer, it's not the end of the world, and it WON'T last forever. What you need to understand is that it happens to everyone. It's natural. Just relax, and let's see if we can help you through this.

First things first...DON'T PANIC! Don't get mad, don't pound the sides of your head with your fists, don't Bruce Lee kick your monitor out of the window. It won't help. Trust me, I've tried all three. Hehehe! Most times, when your brain freezes and the thoughts seem to stop dead in their tracks...you're simply pushing too hard. A lot of times, authors get wrapped up in work and family and friends...and they plan for a 'specific' time to sit down and write something decent. So, when the ideas aren't flowing as readily as we'd like them too in that small time period, it can be aggravating beyond belief. Other times, we can put so much pressure on ourselves to make what we're writing so potent and so emotional and so REAL...that our thoughts can get clogged up and refuse to come out when we need them. And sometimes, unfortunate as it may be, the urge to sit down and write just isn't there. Whatever the reason, the best thing to do is to just take a breather. RELAX! Whether it's for a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days....just save what you have, turn the computer off, and step away from the keyboard for a little while. Now listen to me...when I say 'step away from the keyboard'...that doesn't mean 'step away from the keyboard and continue to stress over what you're going to write'. That won't help you either. So don't sit on the bed with a pen and paper, putting yourself through the same hell that you were with the computer. Simply turn it off, step back, and leave it alone for a while. Grab a snack, watch some tv, watch a movie, listen to some music...but get your mind off of the story for a little while. Better yet, go outside. Hang out with friends, go for a walk around the neighborhood, go to the store or something. Take your mind off of things and just let your brain rest for a bit. I've found that a lot of times, if I go out and just 'live' for a little bit...the answer that I was looking for will come tripping across me. And I'll be just fine. Sometimes a friend and I will have a random conversation, and they might say something that totally triggers an entire network of new thoughts about how to handle the problem I was having in the story. Suddenly, I can't WAIT to get back and start writing again. Give it a try. Your stories have some kind of basis in real life, so sometimes you need to live 'real life' to make them work. Take a breather, and don't just let yourself wallow in your suffering. Something as simple as a five minute break can massage the ideas right out of your brain when it locks up on you.

Also, another method that's been helpful to me on more than one occasion, is to simply go back to the beginning of that story or chapter that you've written, and read it again. Skim through it. The conversations, the scenery, the characters, the time frame...everything. Read it as though you were someone else reading it. Then, a lot of times, when you reach the part that you were having so much trouble with, your mind will have unfolded enough to just continue forward from there. It's like magic. Suddenly, reading it all together like that, can help you figure out what the next logical step is for taking the story in the direction that you want it to go. So go back, take some time to read what you wrote, and let the words remind you of the initial plan. If you find any mistakes along the way, then you have the chance to correct them and let them help you find out where you need to be focusing for the rest of the chapter. Sounds weird, but it helps sometimes.

And another way to beat writer's block (And one of the reasons why I have so many damn stories going on at once in the first place!) is to take a break from one story...and start up another one entirely. Why do that? Because most times, your current mood really effects how you express yourself. For example, if you're trying to write a happy scene with a couple of boys who are being flirtatious and cute and playful in your story...it can be hard to do when you have had an AWFUL day at work or school, and want to strangle everybody around you. It's equally hard to write something angry and painful when you've just been asked out by the cutest boy you've ever seen! Hehehe! If you've just had your heart broken by someone you really loved...don't try to force your way through a romantic story and talk about how 'wonderful' love is. Write what you FEEL. If one story isn't working, and you find yourself stuck, just write something else. Sometimes we just have something on our minds that we have to get out. So do it. You'd be surprised how much of a powerful statement you can make when you are channeling those current emotions right then and there as you're feeling them. I consider the stories I've written when I was heartbroken or really hurting to be some of the most 'honest' and 'emotionally concentrated' stories on the whole site. Stories like "Never Again", "Save Or Sacrifice", "Decisions Of Love", "My Only Escape", "My One Fallen Angel"...and others, they really came from the moment, and usually started while I was trying to write a different story entirely. If you can take what you're feeling and channel it into a story (Or maybe just a short essay for your eyes only), then you can say what you have to say about it, and then get back to what you were writing before. Sometimes, you can even work that feeling into the story you were working on. Whatever your method is, don't ignore your feelings or try to push them down long enough to write something that you feel you're supposed to be writing. All art is about the honest expression of yourself...so express. You might find yourself writing half a story all in one sitting, just venting about whatever is on your mind. The true power of writing is inside the emotions of your heart, use them to your advantage.

Whatever works for you, try to develop a low stress way to just separate yourself from the story entirely, and come back to it later. I know that writer's block can be a stubborn mule a lot of times, and trying to 'drag' it along isn't really going to do much more than anger you to the point of wanting to quit anyway. So take a few deep breaths, smile to yourself, and try to remember that the story will be right there waiting for you when you get back with more ideas.

Oh....and if you ever DO get to the 'Bruce Lee kicking the monitor out of the window' part......make sure your wearing shoes. Otherwise you can REALLY hurt yourself. Owww!