Jun 08, 2016

Writer’s Block – should we always overcome it?

I was honestly tempted to leave this article blank, as a small joke, but then again that wouldn’t be useful to anyone, would it?

I’ve encountered writer’s block so, so many times and everybody knows pretty much all there is to say about it. You writers out there know about the methods to overcome it and to get the story flowing once more… so what more can I say?

Hm, perhaps I could tackle this subject from a slightly different perspective.

The good

You started writing your next project. A book, a movie script, a song, anything! You sit down at your desk or in the park or at your favorite coffee shop (as I’ve heard that it is popular to do so) and you write. The words flow, the scenes fly by and everything works well…

…until blank.

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You stare at the page and hesitate. That’s the first sign. You’re dangerously close to a writer’s block. You just tell yourself that you are tired, you’re gonna continue the next day. You close your PC/Laptop/Notebook, go to bed and wake up the next day refreshed.

You turn on your PC/Laptop/Note–… you open your Notebook and… nothing. Nothing comes out of your head.

You know where you are going with these ideas, you probably have an idea on how the story ends, but it’s this little segment here that completely blocks you. You have no idea how to continue. You have Writer’s Block.

Now, we’re gonna mentally insert here other hundreds of articles that you’ve read on the subject and pretend that you’ve gone past the block. Congratulations! You made it through!

The feeling of writing again, the flow, the almost musical way in which those keys click-clack every idea into place – it’s all wonderful.

The Bad

You finish your project and let it rest for 2-3 weeks to ensure you can view it again with fresher eyes. You probably even hire an editor to look it over.

Gleefully you descend from your happy place and, when the time is right, you open up the document and begin reading, pretending you are a first-time-reader so you can offer yourself proper feedback.

Then you see it. A big, terrible, plot hole. Then another. And another.

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You see, dear reader, it is not uncommon when using techniques to overcome the Writer’s Block to make various mistakes that could simply end up tearing your entire work apart.

That sounds ghastly, I know, but fear not for it can become worse. Much, much worse.

You patch up the manuscript, try to make it work, leave that little thing in (perhaps nobody will notice) and try your best to fix it. You finish up, launch the project, it does decent and makes you smile!

And then… ho, boy… and THEN…

The ugly

…you decide to write a sequel.

This is basically where I was going with this: Writer’s Block can be a very, very good thing. It helps you “write stoopid”. It makes things like “Avatar” not become “Pocahontas 3000 the Reboot”.

Writer’s Block can help save you from ruining your previous work. How many of you can think of a sequel that was really, really bad compared to the original? How many of the jokes or action-moments felt forced and out of place?

This is where overcoming Writer’s Block can be an ugly thing and can result in story twists that nobody likes. Sure, there are some sequels that are far better than the original creation… but don’t get me started on trilogies, please!

writers block03

Main point here is that you have to dance with it, you have to enjoy your Writer’s Block. It’s there for a reason… it is there to challenge your way of thinking, of seeing things, of writing a tale. The Flexibility of Thought, is what my favorite highschool teacher used to say before she called me an idiot – I learned so much from her, Bless her soul – and the obstacles you face will help you learn the most important lesson of them all:

When to stop.

Stop. : )


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