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Archive for the tag “writer’s block”

The Initial Spark

Whenever I have to do a post after a long gap, I worry. I feel as uncertain as I did when I started this blog. It is always easier to keep doing something than to start doing it. I know I should keep posting more often if I want this blog to survive. The intentions are all there, believe me. The execution, well, there are highs and there are lows.

Life interrupted the writing schedule a few weeks back and I haven’t gotten back in the saddle yet. The past few days, I have started and abandoned a few attempts at a comeback post. All attempts fizzled out even before anything shaped up. What does it take to write a piece? Any piece. Something triggers a single idea. A train of thoughts surrounding that idea follow. You think that you might be able to pull off a couple of hundred words following those thoughts. Shuffle them around in a way that might appeal to a reader who does not really care about all the thoughts that flood your mind.

When the mind is exposed to other people’s thoughts and opinions, it is easier to find more initial sparks to trigger fresh ideas. The spark alone is not enough, though. There has to be enough fuel to build a raging fire. I seem to be running out of fuel. Getting back in the saddle is much more difficult than I thought. My horse is galloping away.
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I have been trying to complete a satisfactory post for quite some time now and have not been successful. What I have written above is just some free writing that I did to get something out. I am that severely blocked. I am posting that because I don’t have anything else and I have to do a post.

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Freewriting Your Way Out of Writer’s Block

Momentum is the impetus of a body resulting from its motion. It is a case of motion fostering motion. The worst case of a virtuous cycle. When the object collides with an obstacle, this momentum is lost. Most of us are juggling parallel roles and ambitions. Collision is bound to happen and when it does, the current project loses steam. Getting it up to speed again is such an uphill struggle.

Image credit:  www.forbes.com

With writing, the situation gets stickier. It is all in the mind, you see. There are times when thoughts flow beautifully and you feel like the most intelligent person. At others, you have to shove the thoughts forward. We call this the writer’s block. Some scorn this term, saying it is plain laziness. Well, I agree that the only way to get past it is to keep working. But you cannot simply wish it away.

Freewriting is a simple technique to unclog the mind and allow thoughts to flow more freely. It is like a warm up exercise for the mind. Once you force it all out, you may even find precious gems in all the gloop.

I have categorized freewriting in the following ways:

Timed Writing

Using My Favourite Productivity Tool, set aside ten minutes and don’t stop writing till the timer goes off. If you are procrastinating on freewriting itself, this is the perfect way to force yourself to focus. After all, it is just ten minutes.

Themed writing

Choose any theme and freewrite around it. It could be the very theme that is stumping you or something altogether different. The point is to get the brain into gear for writing. It is okay if most of what you have written cannot be used at all.

Mind Dump Writing

If thoughts are whirring around in the head with no coherence, it helps to just get all of them written down. There are no rules. The easiest way to clear a cluttered head is to write everything down.

Self Talk Writing

Self talk writing is like talking to yourself about all that is stumping you right now with the writing project at hand. Maybe the plot of the story is stuck somewhere and you don’t know how to go ahead. There are possibilities, each leading the story on very different paths. You don’t know which one to choose. Pretend you are talking to yourself and discuss all the options. Why something will work. Why it will not. How to make it all come together in the end. A blunt pencil is better than a sharp mind. Better solutions come when the chaos is funneled into words written down.

The key to a good session of freewriting is to not go over what you have written. Turn off the editor in your head. This is for no one else’s eyes. Once thoughts and words have had a good churn, what remains is thoughts that are nicely lined up for you to pick and choose from to create your written piece.

Have you ever felt blocked? What is your prescription for writer’s block?

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