“Hitting a creative wall? Take a break from work to watch a procedural. They always solve the case and so will you” — Lena Dunham’s dad in Not That Kind of Girl
While some may consider it an excuse, writers block is a real thing and when it happens, it can really fuck someone up. Especially when writing for a multitude of venues, each requiring a different voice and different style. As a writer, I often seek advice of those I trust and those who are paying me to make sure it’s worth reading, on how to push through this nonsense. For older writers, publishing that first book may be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, trying ePublishing services, traditional publishing and etc. Here are a few suggested solutions:
1. Seek inspiration in places and people who are telling a similar story.
As in reading books by authors with an analogous voice, watching funny movies, or attending comedy shows. For me this has been the most helpful.
2. Even if you think the writing is shitty, keep going.
You need to get it out in order to get to the good stuff. You may have to throw away multiple chapters or articles, but at least those words will be gone.
3. Write somewhere different every time.
Maybe it’s at the beach or a Starbucks; wherever it may be, change of scenery is important for creativity.
4. Take a step away from it before reviewing.
This advice has been given to me since I learned how to write cursive in Elementary School. It has worked for many school assignments, creative writing pieces, and even in creating strategic marketing plans for brands I’ve represented. A fresh set of eyes will always make the work better.
5. Carry a journal with you wherever you go.
Most of the time, my best thinking comes when I am spinning, or driving, or on the phone with a friend. I have notebooks filled with thoughts, my iPhone “notes” section has pages and pages of ideas, the backside of torn envelopes and even cocktail napkins were the beginning of some of my best work. Otherwise, you forget by the time you sit down to write.
Writing is a thoughtful process that takes a lot of time and energy. It won’t always be fun or perfect, but having a story to tell is a powerful thing. Don’t let it go to waste.