Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt feels like a recurring theme for me lately, so I’ve decided to break the questions apart in order to inspect them each as personally and honestly as I can:
Have you ever had extended writers’ block?
What writer hasn’t? Okay, I know that’s not making it personal. So, the answer is yes. Painfully, uncontrollably, frustratingly, yes. Unfortunately, my creativity seems to be on vacation far more frequently than it’s at work and the length of the former always outlasts the length of the latter. In fact, I’ve been experiencing a bout of writer’s block for the last week or so. Which leads us to the next part of the question…
How long did it last?
Months. Literally months upon months. Those are the worst times. When I’m lucky, it will only last a few weeks or less. Sadly, I’m typically not that lucky, but I have been attempting to correct that issue by applying those ‘tools’ others advise to use or claim to work for them. I’ve even gone so far as having my kids choose words for me to use in some way on my blog, whether it be in a poem or short story, anything to try and kick-start that inspiration back into working order again. So, now we’re left with the last part of this question…
What did you do to break out of it, and do you have tips for other bloggers?
The best way to explain my version of
hell writer’s block is that it’s like the cell tower to my creativity goes down, causing the signal to my brain to completely drop. Not only do I lose my ability to connect words together into a decent sentence, I lose my drive to. My desire to. I will sit and stare at my computer screen like a brainless zombie, absolutely no activity going on upstairs. No sparks firing through the old lobes to assist in my dilemma.
I’m still trying to figure out how to ‘break’ out of it, as it were. In all honesty, I generally just have to wait it out. Wait for that invisible crew to get the cell tower back up and running again. Inspiration will come slowly or in one, powerful burst. I guess it just depends on that blasted signal. As such, I don’t really have any tips for other bloggers, only a few things I do to try and put a rush on the process:
♠ Read. I will use my writing downtime as an excuse to get caught up on my reading, because I’m always behind on it. Sometimes, I get lucky, and reading will cause inspiring ideas about my own books to start forming in my mind. When I can’t wait to finish a book in order to start applying those ideas to my own, I know I’m in a good place.
♦ Blog Daily. Even when I’m not participating in NaBloPoMo, I still try to blog every single day. Even if it’s just to complain about having writer’s block, at least I’m writing something!
♣ Take Advantage. Rather than stressing about not being able to write, I use the time off to get caught up on other things I enjoy (or that desperately need my attention, like housework!) I hang out with friends, get my holiday lists together, read that mail that’s been piling up in the ‘it can wait’ bin… If you have other hobbies, like painting, drawing, needlework, etc., then try to relax into one of those. Who knows, maybe those other things will help inspire you faster than staring at the cursor blinking on your story’s document like a ticking time bomb mocking your every attempt to think coherently.
♥ Or if you’re a gamer, like me, you might even enjoy turning the old PS3 on and blowing stuff up to work some of those frustrations out in a non-destructive manner. Plus, it’s just plain fun and writing is work. Life can’t be all work and no play, even creatively.