Friday, September 12, 2008

Writer's Block

I heard, indirectly, yesterday of a friend who was suffering from writer's block. He had taken the, pretty sensible, step of phoning someone else rather than sitting around waiting for it to go though. The solution is all down to the individual. Some of these you can only do if you are a writer in charge of your own time. Still, for what it's worth, here's my top ten:

1. Take a note book to the pub, library, cafe or gym. Don't take any of your previous work, any reference books or any other notes. You want what's left in your head and a blank piece of paper.

2. Read something unconnected.

3. Put out the rubbish (symbolically, imagine your broken idea mechanism also going in the bin).

4. Phone a friend. Don't ask them to help. Ask them how they are.

5. Ask yourself (if you can't phone them) what someone you know well would do.

6. Start the next sentence with three words beginning with the same letter. Choose that letter randomly by looking at the 3rd letter on page 24 of the nearest book to hand.

7. Shut your eyes. Hit the keys with your wrong hand. These are the initial letters of your next few words.

8. Write something unconnected. So, blog a few thoughts when you are stuck.

9. Type all the rest of your thoughts, very quickly, without correcting, without grammar and even type how you are feeling.

10. Imagine you have finished. What are people saying was the best bit?

5 comments:

Mr Gnome said...

Tip-top ideas.

I shall apply them to my blog-writing - and zoom aloft to new heights of literary lusciousness.

Here at the factory, I'm packing up my desk prior to my move to a new area of endeavour - within the factory, I hasten to note.

I am recycling books - I have an attractive copy of The Challenge of Cell Church - in Finnish translation. Yours for nowt should you wish.

Mr Gnome said...

One wonders if there's a sense in which writer's block can lead inexorably to writer's blog...

St said...

Almost certainly. I can't write therefore I blog.

Mike Peatman said...

Andrew Motion was talking about writer's block this morning.

Mr Gnome said...

Motion on block.

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