Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ever get writer's block?

Sometimes even the most "in the zone" writer gets stuck.

It's not as bad as those blank lined pages we had in school. "Write SOMETHING!!!" But looking at a blank computer screen can be tricky, still.

It's kind of like when you've got a friend you've known a while. You get together for the afternoon - maybe a trip to the beach or something. You're chatting away, totally enjoying being together, when all of a sudden... you've got nothing to say. Nothing of interest, anyway.

Your mind starts racing, grasping for anything you could ask, any funny story to tell, some news about someone you both know... and you're coming up with nothing.

Panic sets in. You start wondering whether your friend's feeling the same way, agonizing over how dorky you must seem because you're feeling so awkward.

But if you can take a moment to chill a bit, breathe, and think rationally again, you see the truth. A gap in the conversation is actually only uncomfortable when you freak out. In fact, you probably wouldn't even notice it if you just relaxed. And to be honest, being comfortable together in silence is one sign of a really nice relationship.

See any parallels to your writing here?

The more you panic about not having anything to say, freaking out because you feel like you'll never have another word, the more you torture yourself unnecessarily.

Half the battle of beating writer's block is to just chill. Write something else for a few minutes. Even a grocery list. Just like when you're trying to remember some odd little factoid, and it seems just out of reach - but then when you let go and think about something else, it pops right into your head... your mind won't fail you in this either.

Do you ever get writer's block? How do you push through?

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