Hitting the Wall

So this week’s blog is brought to you directly from class. Do you believe in Writer’s Block? Have you ever hit this wall?

I am very curious to hear any experiences or responses on this topic. Even in my small class, the discussion was varied. Let me first quantify that while I have claimed to suffer from writer’s block at some stages in my life, I have since come to the conclusion that this was simply a convenient excuse. I don’t believe such a condition truly exists.

This is not to say that I can sit down at any given time on any given day and produce a substantive outpouring of ideas and words that will draw the masses like the piper luring the mice from the town. But even when I assume my position in front of my trusty keyboard and can’t for the life of me figure out what sentence to write next on the current project I have been plugging away on for the last two months, I still know all is not lost.

Many times I can pull up a file I have worked on sporadically, open up the idea notebook and a start a new file, or jump to a different section within this same narrative that is proving elusive. Either one of the three techniques tends to have my keyboard clicking away within five minutes or less.

Is this the magic formula? Of course not. Does it always work for me? Not on your life. Sometimes I have to get away, get out enjoy nature, a movie, spend more time reading a book I’ve been working through. The common denominator is to do something within the creative genre regardless of what that something is. Fire those brain cells.

The other side to the coin is, of course, the individual. What works for me will not necessarily work for you. If you haven’t tried it, by all means, try it. But go into it with an open mind because this is a trial and error process of finding what techniques your body, your mind, your muse responds to.

Don’t forget either that the process is always evolving. I listed my three most common techniques earlier. At my current point, these almost always work, but there may come a time eventually–and it may be sooner rather than later–that none of the three work. I will have to go back to the drawing board.

There is no magic formula. It is as elusive sometimes as asking your favorite writer where he/she gets their ideas.

The point to all of this is to remain creative. Succumbing to the excuse of writer’s block tends to find most accepting a path of laying their pen, pencil, or keyboard down. Unfortunately too few pick it back up. Don’t fall into that trap. Don’t become that statistic. Find an alternate method of expression, inspiration, or voice to your muse. Remember, we’re not talking permanent changes here. These are temporary solutions to keep those creative juices flowing and prepare your mind, body, and soul to finish that epic narrative you’ve invested your time in.

 

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From the Writer’s Desk

My children were perusing some of my old papers several weeks ago when they happened upon some publications from my last years of high school and early years of college–just prior to my stepping away from writing for a long hiatus.

Upon flipping through some of the anthologies produced by our local college, they came across a couple of my very early works. They were quick to point out that I had failed to mention being published before this year. Honestly, the revelation caught me off guard as I had not considered nor remembered that fact. The decision was made to offer these early samplings here for your enjoyment and critique.

“Collage of Dementia” free verse poem

“Unnamed Haiku”

 

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