Monday, January 30, 2012

Smashing Writer’s Block: 7 Suggestions To Keep Going

    I don’t believe in writer’s block, brain freeze perhaps, but the fingers should always be free to express themselves.  There are many ways to keep the hands moving even if the brain refuses to, the idea is to write whether you like it or not.  Here are some unusual tips to keep you going.

1.      You could start on a magazine writing prompt, but you misplaced the magazine, so skip this and go to the next one.

2.      Brainstorm some ideas for newspaper or magazine articles to write while the other writing is on hold.  Or, if that’s not exciting enough, start writing your Christmas cards that tells about your latest endeavor as succinctly as possible.

3.      Keep your checkbook handy at the grocery store checkout line, to write down any interesting dialogue you might hear.  (With the invention of debit cards and online banking, my checks are used for grocery lists and to take notes.)

Keep track of the people in the conversation: have they been drinking? Do they wear false eyelashes and a toupee?  Could they be a bad guy on CSI?   File these away as potential characters for your next project.
4.      Sometimes a change in scenery brings flashes of inspiration to me.  Take a notebook and pen to the bathroom, shut the door and don’t come out until you’ve produced something.

5.      Change up your writing for the next hour.  Write a birthday card for someone you despise.  You can pick from an old boyfriend, ex-wife, or Hitler.   You’ll feel better and then you’ll be ready to concentrate on the antagonist in your novel.

6.      Some writers think they need to get a latte for inspiration.  I say, go to the grocery store, buy coffee, stand in line, write down great dialogue and then get back to work with a brewed pot of coffee, keeping the hard earned $6.53 in your pocket.

And lastly,

7.      Grab the book jacket from a best seller and identify the “hook”, the characters and the problems that the protagonist must overcome.  Visualize your own book jacket, its characters, the challenges and your photo. Now, stop daydreaming and hit the keyboard. 




Writing is a serious business, but who says there can't be any humor while your doing it? 
I'd love to hear from you.  Email me at aitken.helen@gmail.com

Have a great writer's day.

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