Thursday, April 19, 2007

Writer's Block!

What all writers dread: writer's block. Sitting at your desk, staring a blank piece of paper or a flickering white screen with nothing whatsoever to say. Your brain as empty as the proverbial cloud.

What to do?

The Guardian polls several famous writers to find out their solutions. These include squeaky chairs, magic talismans, hot baths, and chocolate.

I certainly espouse the chocolate solution, tho' it never inspires me, it does make me feel a little bit less anguished about the fact that I'm not getting anywhere. I find the greatest spurs to my creativity are lots and lots of coffee, and a deadline.

There's nothing like knowing that you must turn a story in in 24 hours to get the muse into gear! And if you've had lots and lots of coffee you can work through the night. Lack of sleep helps, too. Exhaustion and caffeine, mixed with desperation, make a potent speedball.

(Link lifted from Liz Hand!)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I'm not trying to write for a living, so you'd think it wouldn't be a big deal to be blocked, but boy, does it take a toll! I don't think I'm ever on an even keel when I don't have a work in progress. I have two blockbuster tactics that seem to work fairly consistently. One is to stop flailing away at the current work, pull out an old one and edit it. The other is to go into "outline mode" and just hack through the trouble spot by writing down what HAS to happen, without even trying for decent prose, then I backtrack and edit until it actually reads palatably. Of course, if you're one of those writers who doesn't yet KNOW what has to happen, this wouldn't work. I always have 90% of the plot points worked out in my head before I start writing. If I simply didn't have any idea where a story was going, I think dog-walking and horse-brushing might go a fair way towards chipping away the block.