Battling the Block
Hola, good people!
It’s funny how I’m stuck with a writer’s block and yet I am writing an article on how to battle it. xD
As a matter of fact, I am a writer who faces a block every other week.(Or a month if I’m lucky). For this reason, I’m fairly confident sharing my experiences about overcoming the block may prove helpful to some of the budding writers out there.
Whenever a block hits me, it is evident it has come to stay on a vacation. In conclusion, let’s think of the block as an unwanted guest and how to kick him out of your house.
Step 1: Know your Enemy.
A writer’s block, I hate to admit it, is a guest who completely takes hold of your home and doesn’t let you enter specific parts of it. It either ceases your capacity to think about the topics or even worse, it prevents you from thinking of a topic.
In any case, to battle the block, you need to know if it Prevents you from thinking of a topic OR Ceases your ability to think on a topic.
Step 2: Living with the Enemy.
By all means, stepping in your secret writing shoes gets uncomfortable because the guest looks out for every move of yours. Thus, it becomes necessary to “close the door” and prevent them from causing any problem.
What I intend to say is, before moving to the Step 3 and trying to eradicate the block you need to know how will you block them out while doing so.
Some ways of blocking them out while trying the solutions in step 3, which I’ve found helpful are:
- Try to execute Step 3 right when you wake up in the morning.
Reason: Ignorance is bliss. A fresh mind tends to focus on positive parts of life.
- Try to execute Step 3 right before you sleep.
Reason: If you are a night owl, I am talking to you; if not, you can still give this a try. However cliche it may sound, our mind does wear it’s extraordinary-thinking cap after midnight.
Step 3: Ciao Adios. Hope I never see you again.
But you know? You’ll always see them again.
Now that you have realized what kind of annoyance your guest is, let’s work on kicking them out.
Case 1: Prevents you from thinking of a topic.
Honestly, this is my favorite kind of a block. It lets you wander around for unusual topics and leaves you with amazing ones.
You think upon topics which you would not had the block not bothered you. When this happens, the best solution is friends.
Your friends, ones with different personalities from yourself are going to prove of great help. JIC you don’t have any friends, worry not, there’s always the internet for lonely people like us. You can visit Reddit’s r/WritingPrompts for quite interesting prompts.
On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to have friends, ask them for any random sentence. Do not specify why you want them to do it. It gets more challenging. Here, a friend of mine gave me a topic right from his course book of Instrumentation Engineering.
If that sentence seems to vague then you’ve hit the JACKPOT! Trust me, you’re going to keep your available options at the maximum.
Moving forward, if your block still troubles you to form a story or a poem on the given sentence, do not freak out! I still have an advice to the rescue. Search for abstract artworks or photographs over the internet. I prefer Pinterest.
How does it help? Abstract images tell a story of their own and the story differs from an observer to the next. Use this image and the first sentence to your benefit and I wager you will land on your most creative topic, if not all time then at least during the block!
Case 2: Ceases your ability to think on a topic.
This is the most annoying form of a block. Why? ‘cus yo thirsty ass(donkey) finally reached the effing river yet it still not drinking the life saving liquid!? At such times of peril, my advice may not turn helpful. Not unless you lend yourself a helping hand.
My experience of tackling such a pain in the neck has been limited as most of the times my monotonous solution works fine after a lot of efforts.
What you need to do is basically, doesn’t matter what genre you write in, choose a topic. Following that, spend some time in the dark and/or silent place to refresh your mind and then imagine a situation.
It doesn’t have to be a story nor a poem. It just needs to be a situation. No start or end required. Heck, you don’t even a require a moral.
If you do it correctly? Imagine a situation, any situation, I’m not sure why you thought you were having a writer’s block in the first place? xD
Recently, I faced both cases of writer’s block and here are some write ups I came up with.
- Prompt: She, who ran across the lane…
Story: Emberley – She who ran across the lane…
- Prompt: Accuracy of feedback controlled systems is always very high because controller modifies and manipulates the activating signal such that error in that system will be zero.
Story: A Musical Crime
- Prompt: This is how the day started, the best day of my fucking life.
Story: Best Day of My Life
©The Honest Fabler — Ashutosh Gursale
©Image Source — Google & Pinterest