keskiviikko 3. elokuuta 2011

Writer's block - who needs it?

Every writer knows what I'm talking about. Sometimes your head just squirms with ideas and you're busy trying to write them all down before they get lost. Those moments are magical - when idea after idea, your creativity starts to blossom. And then it strikes.

Writer's block.

Why is it that when you're feeling creative, all your ideas sound fantastic, but as soon as you can't think of anything new, you think all the old ideas are childish and worthless? Maybe it's human nature to think that once we've accomplished something, there must be a period of failure to balance it out. Believe me, I've been there hundreds of times, and it never gets any easier.

However, I would like to claim that even during a writer's block, I constantly write - mostly about how I'm suffering from a bad case of writer's block. Every time I think it's the worst block yet, but every time I get over it and my creativity magically returns to me. In fact, if someone was to count the pages in my notebook, the number of full pages would probably not vary during periods of creativity and periods of alleged writer's block.

I think writer's block is all in your head. It doesn't mean that you can't write - it means that you become too critical and discard every idea as bad. But let me tell you: jumping off the roof of a skyscraper is a bad idea; writing down a couple of sentences about a child whose teddy bear believes to be Baby Jesus is not. So what if you leave it at that? Someday someone is going to thumb through your notebooks, see all your discarded ideas and think that you were the most creative person that ever lived. How's that for a way to impress your grandchildren and their children? Or maybe some of your sad and lonely abandoned ideas will find each other and together create a story you've never even dreamed of.

Have you ever heard of a writer able to publish the first draft of their novel? Exactly. Sometimes your ideas are bound to sound bad - just don't get stuck feeling that way. Continue writing it. If that seems like an impossible task, try anyway. There are hundreds of methods out there to break your writer's block, but none is more powerful than this: Write. Actually, make yourself write. I've learned how to punch writer's block in the nose and stuff it in the back of a closet and lock the door through hours and hours of sleepless nights and writing like a maniac. At first I was amazed at my imagination. I always knew it was there, but somehow I'd forgotten that its resources are endless. For example, what do you think about when you're just about to fall asleep? My mind shows me images often so wonderful that I have to force myself to wake up just so I could write them down. I've noticed that the best way is to set yourself goals, like how long you'll write or how many words, and then let your imagination loose. This, for me, means that I can't plan my stories very far. If the story suddenly takes a drastic turn, I, as a writer, have to be able to follow.

So writer's block - you don't need it. Nobody  needs it. Why feed it when you can make sure it starves?

Write write write,