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Writers Block

Writers Block

Writer's block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years. Throughout history, writer's block has been a documented problem.

You can't come up with an idea.

“This is the kind where you literally have a blank page and you keep typing and erasing, or just staring at the screen until Angry Birds calls to you. You literally can't even get started because you have no clue what to write about, or what story you want to tell. You're stopped before you even start.There are two pieces of good news for anyone in this situation: 1) Ideas are dime a dozen, and it's not that hard to get the idea pump primed. Execution is harder — of which more in a minute. 2) This is the kind of creative stoppage where all of the typical "do a writing exercise"-type stuff actually works. Do a ton of exercises, in fact. Try imagining what it would be like if a major incident in your life had turned out way differently. Try writing some fanfic, just to use existing characters as "training wheels." Try writing a scene where someone dies and someone else falls in love, even if it doesn't turn into a story. Think of something or someone that pisses you off, and write a totally mean satire or character assassination. (You'll revise it later, so don't worry about writing something libelous at this stage.) Etc. etc. This is the easiest problem to solve. ”

You have a ton of ideas but can't commit to any of them, and they all peter out.

“Now this is slightly harder. Even this problem can take a few different forms — there's the ideas that you lose interest in after a few paragraphs, and then there's the idea that you thought was a novel, but it's actually a short story. (More about that here.) The thing is, ideas are dime a dozen — but ideas that get your creative juices flowing are a lot rarer. Oftentimes, the coolest or most interesting ideas are the ones that peter out fastest, and the dumbest ideas are the ones that just get your motor revving like crazy. It's annoying, but can you do?

Usually when I'm faced with the "too many ideas, none of them works" problem, I'm a few days away from coming up with the idea that does work, like gangbusters. Your mind is working in overdrive, and it's close to hitting the jackpot.”

You have an outline but you can't get through this one part of it.

“Some writers work really well with an outline, some don't. For some writers, the point of having an outline is to have a road to drive off, a straight line to deviate from as far as possible. Plus, every project is different — even if you're an outline fan usually, there's always the possibility that you need to grope in the dark for this one particular story.

Your outline is basically fine, but there's a part that you can't get past. Because it's boring, or because you just can't quite see how to get from one narrative peak to the next. You have two cool moments, and you can't figure out how to get from one cool bit to the other.”

Blank page syndrome

“Blank page syndrome is similar to writer's block,[how?] but is not a psychological term. It can happen to a writer at any point in time, irrespective of their career success. This syndrome can be very irksome to authors and often leads to a long span of time where they cannot come up with anything new. Coping strategies include: distracting oneself from the piece for a while, reading a book, and forcing oneself to write something even if it makes no sense. To avoid blank page syndrome, it is best to have an idea when one sits down to write, and to keep from procrastinating because stress only worsens the blank page syndrome.”

Coping strategies

“As far as strategies for coping with writer's block Clark describes: class and group discussion, journals, free writing and brainstorming, clustering, list making, and engaging with the text.To overcome writing blocks, Oliver suggests asking writers questions to uncover their writing process. Then he recommends solutions such as systematic questioning, freewriting, and encouragement. A recent study of 2500 writers aimed to find techniques that writers themselves use to overcome writer's block. The research discovered a range of solutions from altering the time of day to write and setting deadlines to lowering expectations and using mindfulness meditation.Garbriele Lusser Rico's concern with the mind links to brain lateralization, also explored by Rose and Linda Flowers and John R. Hayes among others. Rico's book, Writing the Natural Way looks into invention strategies, such as clustering, which has been noted to be an invention strategy used to help writers overcome their blocks,and further emphasizes the solutions presented in works by Rose, Oliver, and Clark. Similar to Rico, James Adams discusses right brain involvement in writing.While Downey purposes that he is basing his approach in practical concerns,his concentration on right brain techniques speaks to cognitive theory approach similar to Rico's and a more practical advise for writers to approach their writer's block.

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