Your Worst Best Friend, Writer’s Block.


    Hey guys, I will begin with an apology, I did say that the last part of Shadow Chaser would be done this week. But it ended up put off a week because of the amount of things I had to do, and the amount of brain power I had left Wednesday night, after everything done. I just couldn’t do it. So I’m waiting a week. The thing is I don’t want Shadow Chaser to end with some brain-dead, tired ending which no one would want to read. So I’ll put in a little more effort, and hopefully, that’ll end up AWESOME!

    So, going on from this, I begin a topic on a subject whom I love and hate at the same time: Writer’s Block. Writer’s block is that best friend you don’t really want. He feels comfortable to be around, you always have something to discuss with him/her, and sometimes, he seems like he’d be the one who makes life more sometimes. And sometimes, he does. He’s that sweet-talking devil who knows how to twist you around his little finger. When you’re feeling motivated, he just loves to point that that ice cream stand over there, and oh, look how pretty the weather is? When you’re depressed, he knows to dig deep down and make you feel worse, and send you through a cycle of useless-ness. Yup, that’s right. Writer’s Block is sort of like the devil, we really want to follow him sometimes, but you really just need to stay from him.

    So where to begin? How do we get this little voice out of our heads? Well, do the same thing we Christians do, fight the power, fight the tempatation.

    I will admit, there are times when writing is like trying to chisel a diamond with a toothpick. It really isn’t any much, and maybe, after a thousand years, something MIGHT just come out of there. But you know the toothpick will break before the diamond, and then you’re pouting on the floor, waiting for the diamond to carve itself. It won’t. Trust me, I’ve willed it to do that so many times.

    To first start melting down the writer’s block, you got to WARM UP! And here are my usual steps to do that. This may not be your way, but if it helps, awesome!

  1. I start with http://www.oneword.com >> this site lets me go onto it, I log on, and I press the ‘go’ button. Then, you’ll be taken to a screen with a single word up type and a typing box. You get a minute to type out whatever you think about when you see this certain word. Yesterday, it was anchor, so I wrote for 1 minute on whatever came to my mind after reading ‘anchor’. It’s like a stream of consciousness. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with the actual word.
  2. I take out my craft books! My favorite at the moment is Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Novakovich. It gives you detailed chapters about each topic that a fiction writer would need while writing, and great prompts to help these certain attributes improve. Also, The Amazing Story Generator by Joseph Sacher is a cute 3-way split flip book that helps come up with some random story in some random scenario. Some of the stories you can get out of there are hilarious. For example, one prompt I had was: With a new outlook on life, an avid comic book reader steals a baby. Interesting, right?
  3. And just before I start writing in my novel, I go TAKE A WALK! It really helps clear my mind and make up some new ideas. It also helps me review what I’m about to do when Writer’s Block has been around so long the plot starts to fade from memory.
  4. Then, I GO TO MY NOVEL AND WRITE!

It may not be much, but if you’re doing a workout, the warm-up usually isn’t that long. And besides, the craft-book prompts can take up 1-2-3 pages worth of your time, and depending on how much effort you put into it, it can take a bit. The amount of time you warm up really depends on how rusty you are. If you’re really rusty, you may need a little bit more practice in the craft books before you actually try to tackle anything fundamental. At least for me. My advice: Try not to write your novel rough draft so badly that it really doesn’t give you must of the structure you wish at the end.

I do understand that getting through the rough draft first is important before editing. But, if you’re putting no effort into the writing at all, it’s like trying to sketch a dog out of something that could be a dinosaur. It could just make it harder for you later to fine-tune some parts because the general structure is a mess.

That’s my 6 cents on the topic! The lesson is Ditch the Writer’s Block! And sometimes, you’re going to have to warm yourself up, and get yourself away from the temptation that he tries to give you. If you’re a busy person and you’re too pooped out before the end of the day, go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, and write then! Ditch the excuses, and write!

See you next week!

A.C. Rooks

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