Blocks

Blocks

I answered a question on this topic not long ago and wanted to expand for the sake of clarity.

Writer’s block is the scourge of wordsmiths the world over. There is no greater frustration than staring at a blank page or screen and finding vast emptiness before you, echoing with mocking hollow tones.

Life is often the culprit in this terrible malady. We get overworked, eat poorly, have an argument with your friends or simply go through the three most difficult triggers: Change residence, lose a job or lose someone close to you. This last one can range anywhere from a death to a breakup. Either way, it leaves you stunned and unable to do more than stare at a screen with little or no passion, wondering if the spark will ever return.

I have and continue to deal with these times in the same manner, which some of my fellow writers may or may not agree with. I treat writer’s block like a cold. It is a sickness that needs treatment and few ever agree on what treatment is best. We can’t simply prescribe orange juice and chicken soup when you can’t write, after all.

What I prefer as a remedy is simply these three things:

First, listen to music. Something inspirational. Something that makes your heart race as the first few seconds pull you in and you want nothing more than to lose yourself in the moment over and over again. Your music can be anything from classical to power ballads to theme music. It’s your choice. Find the music that drives you and let it carry you.

Second, watch television. Yes, the boob tube. The idiot box. That screen which turns rational thinking people into couch potatoes. You may not like it or you may be a recovering couch potato. Whatever the case may be, remember: This is another form of storytelling. There are amazing shows out there which tell stories that bring us to tears and have us at the end of our seats. There are adventures to be had and loves to make our heart sing. At the core of every great movie or show is a story. Find the great ones. Watch them. let them inspire you in your works.

Third… Read. It may be difficult considering you are struggling to put words down yourself, but reading is essential. We need words like we need air. Without reading our inner engine for stories sputters out and dies. We need to read someone else’s words. We need to go explore in someone else’s dreams. We may have vast dreams that span years of exploration and prompt us forward with every breath we take, but in the end, we dip into that well until it is dry. New stories bring us sparks of inspiration and glimpses into the worlds that inspired us to write in the first place. Drink deep of these other wells. Take in the stories and the adventures. Make them a part of you and know that your own are waiting for you to come back with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of adventure.

It may take time, but just as a cold is burned away with proper treatment, feeding your writer’s block with the flames of inspiration will clear away all obstacles, allowing you to turn a blank page or screen into a symphony of renewed life, love and adventure.

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