There were days where I looked forward to it. Days when my characters were especially loud. Days when their adventures were ridiculously rambunctious. Nights the talking and adventuring continued to the detriment of my sleep.
Well. It's here. And I'll tell you: things are getting mighty lonely in the 'ol pumpkin. It feels like I have just grown out of my imaginary friend (cue the violins).
This Writer's Block in particular is all-encompassing, affecting my desire (ability? drive?) to write or read. I don't know if the synapses are firing slower than usual or if everything else surrounding me is extra shiny.
Ironically, this Writer's Block is accompanying a major desire to be creative. Perhaps it means I am supposed to participate in some form of physical activity or weed my garden, but I will resist. Why? Because I Am A Writer (and accident-prone and it's raining).
The best ever tip I have been given on how to combat Writer's Block: sit your butt down in a chair.
For those of you sitting in a chair in front of a computer/pen in hand and still facing Writer's Block, here is my non-professional, totally unauthorized tip on how to battle Writer's Block: Stop before you want to. Hang on to that feeling of anticipation.
Here are a few small exercises you might want to try:
- Randomly choose one page of work. You have 5 minutes to read and edit it. You are not allowed to do this again for another 20 minutes.
- In one scene, highlight anywhere you describe any of the five senses. If there are less than five senses, add a description of one of the missing ones. Brush your teeth. Add another. Floss. Add another.
- Make a grocery list. Go grocery shopping. You can write again once you have picked up your groceries. Even better, have one of your characters make a grocery list. Dress like them to go shopping.
- Set an egg timer (5, 10, 15 minutes). Write. Even if it is the same word over and over. When the bell goes, stop.
- Figure out what the message on one of your character's answering machines would be. If your character is pre-answering machine, how would they end a letter? Yours, your dearest friend ... humble servant, etc etc. There are an amazing number of ways to end a letter. Check out a museum and find some archived files.
- Read something. Find out what works. What doesn't.
- If you are having difficulties reading novels to the end, read short poetry. Nothing puts romantic imagery into perspective like love poems. Especially authors like Pablo Neruda, Emily Dickinson, Byron, Robert Frost and Tennyson.
I look forward to the inevitable cacophony of my characters and their adventures when they return, but I'm a patient person. I can wait. And while I wait, I have Pablo Neruda to keep me company.
Please, please, please: Anti-Writer's Block tips. Any and all are welcome.