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3 Ways To Battle Writer's Block
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Before we go into taking care of it, let's take a look at what Writer's Block really is.
Writer's Block is basically when you come off a writing high (or never found one to begin with) and you can't think of anything else to type. This often happens at very similar time for writers- you're just about finished with your super-awesome-epic exposition, and having a generally nifty time with writing, confused as to why people don't always write books in a few weeks. You type in a few last words to the first or second chapter, then lean back in your chair, and stare at the screen.
You take a sip of coffee.
You stretch your legs, you crack your knuckles. Then you hunch back over your keyboard. Then you lean back in your chair.
This can happen any time during your writing, but most excessively happens during a period of writing called the Great Swampy Middle by one of my favorite authors, Jim Butcher. If you haven't experienced it yet, maybe you just haven't written enough, or maybe you're just that freaking lucky. I don't know why you're reading this if that's the case. But I'd like to imagine that if you are, you're probably wrapped up in a blanket of some kind, hyperventilating into some rank paper bag, and chewing on your finger nails.
Don't worry. I got this.
1. DO NOT STOP
This first is really more of a warning than a tip for fighting the block. But it falls in line far above anything else I really have to say. Here, I'll say it again.
DO NOT STOP.
There. To me, Writer's Block isn't so much the fact that I can't write but rather that I don't want to. I found myself sitting in front of the computer all this last weekend, coming up with article concepts, then spitting them back out because I really didn't want to write anything. Eventually I had to slap myself, sit myself down, and start writing. Why? Because there ain't no free lunch.
No one ever got to the top BS'ing their way through everything. It takes hard work- determination. Perseverance.
By now, you should know who James Patterson is. I won't say anything if you don't but... yeah. He is the perfect example of TANFL (There ain't no free lunch). As a working man, he had a pretty nifty job. He was the CEO of an advertising agency, and made the big bucks.
Pretty freaking nifty.
But he took time to get to the work early in the morning, and didn't get back until too late, most days. How did he ever have time to write, you might ask.
Well, he woke up at 4:30 every morning and jotted his thoughts away to his heart's content. Yeah, he was that determined. He already had everything he could ever want too, by the way. He was banking off his job, I mean, he was a CEO, man. He had a job, a steady life. But writing was his dream.
If you have your dream's back, it won't fail. It might not rocket off into interviews on Conan or meeting the President, but it won't fail. How could it, when it has your trust?
2. Ask for help
This one seems a little too simple, but, well, I'm done ranting for the most part.
I can press this in two directions. Asking your friends for help and influence, and also setting yourself up for inspiration. Stay with me here, I'll explain.
When I ask my friends, it usually consists of asking for names. But a lot of times I'll tell them to name me three things. A two nouns, and a theme. Try it- it works. There are also some generators on the internet that can do this for you. After you have them though, it's up to you to make something of it. You can write short stories, scenes or even entire novels based off this.
The second way to tackle this is to set yourself up. Set a time limit. Experiment. Right now I'm writing this article late at night, after a day of Writer's Block. I can feel the effects of my coffee wearing off as I type- that slow, steady exhaustion creeping through your limbs. And I still have to workout. So I have a pretty tight schedule to work with here, considering all the stuff I have to do tomorrow, I gotta finish all this up in a nice enough time to catch a few z's.
So I'm typing.
I don't have time to look at a blank screen or any of that crap. All I have time for is typing what I have to say- what I have to get across in this post for you guys to understand what I mean.
So give yourself boundaries, set limits, and keep writing, no matter what. If you stop writing for more than fifteen seconds, you die. Simple as that. I promise you, what you write won't be that bad. And editing's a thing, too.
3. Just write.
I feel like I covered this in the paragraphs above, but now I mean in the long-term sense. So many times I've battled my way out of Writer's Block by doing this.
1. Type a word.
2. Type another word.
3. Repeat 1 and 2 until you've got yourself a novel (or whatever).
After awhile, you're going to find yourself fresh with new ideas. But sitting there, staring at the screen like a retarded monkey isn't doing anything for you. It's like looking at a marathon and thinking if you look at it long enough, you'll finish it, win the race, and get all the babes. It doesn't work that way, trust me.
Seriously. Do it. If it's not working for you, then you're doing it wrong.
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