Of late, I have been struggling. My writing well seems to have run dry. At the very least, my motivation has evaporated. So I’m left with little inspiration and the soft tinge of guilt that comes with the knowledge that I could be working on making my dreams comes true, but I just can’t be bothered. So what does a writer do when faced with such difficulties?
Giving up is certainly not the answer, especially not with November 1st fast approaching. Fortunately I have a wealth of writing friends who are able to advise. Here are some of the techniques I’m going to be trying in order to get me back in the groove of writing:
Write what you know
I’m going to write how I feel. I’m going to tap out the words on a blank screen and the sentences that fill the page will be about me – the writer – struggling to comes to terms with my ineptness. It won’t matter that these words will be dull or have no plot. What will matter is that I will be getting words on the page. That, at the moment, is the initial stumbling block.
Borrow someone else’s writing
As advised by my writing group colleagues, I’m going to try an exercise whereby you take a paragraph from a published novel, copy it out and write the rest. This will help get my creative juices flowing whilst giving me some of the basics to begin with. I won’t have to think up an original character, time or setting: these will be provided and all I’ll have to do is see where it might lead me.
Review why I write
I need to sit down and figure out why it is that I want to continue to write. I need to fire up my soul with the passion for it again, and the best way to do this is to rediscover why I wanted it in the past. This might involve a little daydreaming about what it will mean when my dream becomes a reality and how life might change if I can only make it happen. I need to remember that one of my pet hates are those people who talk about doing things but never actually bother doing them. I do not want to be one of those people.
Start journalling again
When in doubt, I always turn to words to help see me through difficult times. When I’m not going through such challenges I stop writing a diary and let my fiction do the leg work. It seems only fitting then to turn this around and assume that perhaps some of my blocks are trapped in my psyche and need a release. Perhaps I’m too busy stressing about other things that have nothing to do with writing that are distracting me from the creative outlet I am seeking. There’s really only one way to find out – and that’s to examine how I really feel through journalling.
Read a book that inspires me
I’m sure we all have at least one favourite novel that we turn to in times of need that comforts and soothes. I have a couple, and it’s often like meeting up with old friends. Such experience with words is what helped to drive me in the first place: wanting to create that same environment and connection that people find in other books. So, what better way to remind me of that desire than to read one of the novels that inspires the same feeling in me?
Hopefully these exercises might help me get back on track and reinvigorate my writing world again. I miss the elation that accompanies a good writing session, that glow of success when good prose is written. Despite everything else going on in life, this is what I want out of it: to write, to have written. So it’s imperative that I prioritise the identification of whatever it is that is blocking me.
Still, not too much pressure now. The more I panic about things, the less I will be able to relax into the enjoyment of it. Sometimes we go through periods where our mind locks away our most precious things, so that we may concentrate instead on the immediate issues we have been neglecting. Occasionally, all we need is time. Time and the patience to persevere a little more each day.
If you have any other methods I can try to help unblock my writing mind, I’d love to know about them in comments. Ta muchly. 🙂