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I hate writer’s block. For me, any evidence of writer’s block instantly awakens the internal critic who steps back, gets a good sneer going and says “Well, what have you done wrong now?”

Sometimes I can answer the question and that’s all it takes. Oh, I forgot he was wearing a hat, or I didn’t realize it was sundown now. But if I can’t answer that question I’m pretty screwed. I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s what writer’s block is for me. It’s a complete absence of anything useful. No thoughts, no answers, not really even any questions, just complete brain static. I sit there staring at the screen with almost nothing running through my head.

I have a few techniques that often help. One of them is actually math. Yes. I said Math. They always said you’d need it someday. See, working through math problems uses my brain in the completely opposite way. There’s very little creative needed. It’s logical steps A through D with some hard core analytical thought involved. If I’m stuck, and I mean really stuck, sometimes I can cure everything by taking half an hour and just doing some math, using my brain in a different fashion. I do Calculus, Geometry, Trig, and Differential Equations, everything most people have nightmares about. But for me, at least, it helps.

My other main trick for beating writer’s block is to give in. Just let the internal critic win for a moment and show myself just how bad it really can get. I open another window, or slide a fresh piece of paper into the typewriter if I’m writing horror, and start writing the absolute most horrible way I can imagine. I use text speak and clichés, metaphors so bad I should be flogged, and a plot that would leave most six year olds looking for something better. Once I do that, and I see just how bad it can get, then I can usually go back to my writing with a clearer head. After all, my writing isn’t that bad.

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