Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Experience with Writer's Block

 There’s no magic trick for getting over writer’s block. We all have different reasons for losing that spark, and we all have different ways of finding it again.

For that reason, I had trouble thinking of advice to give my readers. Instead, I'm going to do what I do best; tell a story. This is how I recovered from my writer's block last year. Hopefully, an example will be helpful.

I started Sacred Fire June 2007 and went through my writer’s block between June 2008 and June 2010. (Huh. That’s kind of weird all those events happened in June.) It had nothing to do with writing. I firmly believe most writing blocks happen when you’re going through personal stuff.

My personal stuff more or less resolved around February 2010, but by then, I was in an irreversible funk. Not only had I barely written anything for a year and a half, but I had pressured myself and used guilt trips to get myself to write. That's the last thing you should do. I developed a habit of doing nothing, and it felt my soul was turning into a rock wall.

How did I get out of it? It all started with the worst luck imaginable.

I got my license to be an English teacher, but because of budget cuts, there were no teaching jobs available in my area. I got stuck at a desk job where I made little money and had nothing to do.

Boredom is hell. It makes writer’s block worse. In fact, if you’re experiencing writer’s block, I highly recommend doing something exciting… anything! Sneak into a museum! Rob a grocery store! Run into a herd of sheep if you have to!
I spent a month wandering blindly on the internet and hating my life until I re-discovered an author named SARK. She writes inspiring and colorful books about living creatively. When I look at her paintings, I feel like I’m tapping into a well of inspiration and soaking it in.

I eventually broke through by doing her free samples of Awesome Anytime Adventures and Dream Boogie. It unlocked my inner author from her cage, which felt like being reunited with an old friend.

Once I was done with the samples (and I was sad I couldn’t buy the whole thing), I got bored again and thought, “Well, I guess I could work on my book.” The rest is history.

Here’s the moral of this rather long story: you never know what will be the key to getting out of your funk. Don’t get angry with yourself, don’t hate your book, don’t spend agonizing hours trying to find the thing that will inspire you. Just relax and keep your mind open. You’ll get there.

5 comments:

  1. You are so right. We never know when inspiration will strike us and as artists it's our job to be ready for it when it when inspiration strikes.

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  2. Usually when I have a writer's block and just force myself to write. If I don't like what I come up with, I can always delete it. But I think it's healthy for us writers to get at least 15 minutes of solid writing a day.

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  3. Writing is a personal thing, so when it stops it often is personal reasons that triggered the block.

    Interestingly I find I read different sorts of books when I'm not writing. I prefer non-fiction and pay more attention to newspapers and not just the lifestyle component.

    I stopped writing after a heartbreak moment. But like always, when I was ready to start mending it came back. I suppose the best thing is to treat it as simply a part of the process.

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  4. thanks so much for the advice, I am only a new blogger and fearful of writers block!!!

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  5. Great post on writer's block, Teralyn. I totally agree that everybody has different experiences and ideas when it comes to writer's block (some people don't even think it legitimately exists). I recently came out of a funk and I don't really even know how I came out if it. I just did. Sometimes things work out funnily in that way.

    When I get writer's block I basically try everything...watching a movie, reading a book, going out for a walk, going to a museum (which you mentioned), anything stimulating. If all those things don't work, I just wait haha.

    ~TRA

    http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

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