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Monday, 1 September 2008

E6n1's Tough Guide To Writing: Overcoming Writer's BLOCK

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I have received numerous requests (not including those from the voices in my head...) for the following post. Only because last month, I turned professional- as in writer (and not wrestler). I am happy to share what works best for me.

The proverbial writer's block differs for anyone who has sat down in front of a blank screen/A4 sheet to string words and sentences together. The block maybe monolithic and impassive like that alien enigma in 2001: A Space Odyssey, or a gauntlet of barriers, uniforms , spot checks and flashing lights like a border police roadblock during the Cold War. Both inspire the same daunting feeling of, "ARGHHH!! HOW DO I GET AROUND THIS?!!!"

To quote Rudy Guiliani, the former mayor of New York, "If the ends don't justify the means, I don't know what does." Do whatever it takes, of course within reasonable limits and consideration for your personal health and sanity. After all, *you* are the one crafting a written work of art, or meeting an important deadline.

I find music works for me, mainly the music I used to listen to when I was 8-16 years old. Only because it recalls a time when I was open to new ideas. Perhaps it could work for you. Don't want alot of cheese on your mp3 player? Well, it's *your* mp3 player, hence the name 'Personal Stereo'. Put on more music that you like, than music that you'd like other people to see when they browse through your playlists.

The other method I use, is baking. It has many parallels to writing: Your first few attempts will be pitiful and laughable. You will cringe, curse and swear never to leave out key ingredients or add them in the wrong order. You will learn the value of aquiring the proper equipment and not cutting corners. You may vow never to let your creations see the light of day, but when you do, the reception will invariably be, "It's not too bad...". And in the end, your efforts will be rewarded.

Unlike written FUBARs, baked FUBARs are never totally indigestible or unusable. If you have burnt the dough mixture into blackened carcinogenic lumps, and back to carbon (C), use as aquarium charcoal.

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