Sunday, March 27, 2011

Writer’s Block Blues

Fellow bloggers, I’ve got the blues, the writer’s block blues!
B: bored
L: languid
U: unmotivated
E: exhausted
S: somber

Ironically, I’ve written about how to beat writer’s block in previous posts. Some tips such as:
• Get together with other writers and use prompts to get you writing on the spot.
• Listen to classical music or any of your favorite CDs.
• Edit a fellow writer’s story to get your pen moving.
• If everything else fails, go for a walk.

Well, what happens when you can’t shake the blues? Any clues?


  1. I read books or go to the bookstore and browse through the shelves. I listen to music and watch movies or tv too. I hope you get your groove back soon, Claudia. :-)

  2. Ways to break writer's block that you have suggested above are excellent. Notably, in getting together with other like-minded individuals. But it is very much a personal thing. Breaking the block, that is. As we are all different in our psychological/spiritual constitution, so then is the solution very specific.

    Perhaps, in changing your external writing environment, by writing from a different room or other location, this will spark a similar internal change.

    Or in searching deeper within yourself, you can find the cause for the wall being put up that prevents you from writing.

    Clearly, that it bothers you, defines that you are meant to be a writer.

    But it is an individual path that all souls take in this life and so it is with writers. Feeling quite alone in their plight yet hoping for that unnamed Good Samaritan who might offer a few words, if not of knowledge, than of comfort in understanding you.

    Realize that you are not alone, that this writer's block is part of the greater design...a learning experience, that, at the end of the day, everything in this world is dynamic and you will break free as a better soul.

    Now as for my writer's block, well...........:(

  3. For me it's to do anything but think about the writing - anything!!! I'm someone who cannot force inspiration and need to be happy with my surroundings and myself to even start to write.

    But I also find scouring through competitions for writing prompts, helps too! GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!

    It'll pass, it will!!! :-) Take care

  4. Hi Claudia. Thank you for your post. You articulate what so many of us writers must go through regularly. When I'm having a hard time getting my pen moving, I tell myself "This too shall pass." and I divert my focus to other enjoyable activities. Sometimes taking a break from writing is not really a break at all. I have learned that while I am not actively engaged in the act of writing, I may be putting my next great piece of work my head. Next time I sit down to write, it just flows. Thank you for showing us that we are not alone in our struggle to get those words out.

  5. Hi Sharon,
    Thanks for sharing some light. Yes, sometimes TV helps. How did I forget that?

    Hi Vasilios,
    Hmm I think I've been stuck in the same place for too long. Perhaps it's time to either change my office or move to a new place ;) Yes, our environment sometimes is the culprit. Thank you for your in depth comment. Greatly appreciated.

    Hi Kitty,
    I love it! Doing nothing! Like we say in Italian: Il dolce far niente ;) LOL! The pleasure of doing nothing.

    Hi Kelly,
    OOHHH, you and Kitty are in tune, "this too shall pass". I know that taking a break helps a lot. The thing is that I've taken a long break already. I don't want it to become a habit :(
    Thank you for your kind words.

  6. I reread a book I love, the kind of book I wish I'd written.

  7. Here's what I do.

    I close the W.I.P

    I open an empty Word doc

    And I type away.

    Try to get away from phones, noise and other people in general.

    It doesn't matter what you type, just type something. A sentence, a paragraph, an idea. Just type away until is comes back. This way, it doesn't take much more than an evening for me.

  8. Hi Jenna,
    How clever is that? You're absolutely right, Jenna. What a better way to get inspired, but by re-reading your favorite book.

    Hi Ben,
    Wow! this is a new one. Just type away. No matter what, huh? Thank you for your input, Ben. I'll give it a try.

  9. I just did a guest post on this the other day! You can try people watching, or even looking at a piece of art and try to tell a story based on it. My favorite thing to do is either read or watch TV. TV sounds like it would be a waste of time, but it really helps me get ideas. Hopefully, you'll be motivated again! Hang in there! :)

  10. I'd also say stream of consciousness writing is great for getting over writer's block. It doesn't have to be perfect in any way!

  11. Hi Racquel,
    I love people watching! And like you, watching TV clears my head from the stress of the day. I do find inspiration in certain shows or documentaries that I watch. As a matter of fact, that's been the case twice, in two of my stories ;)

    Hi Alleged Author,
    So I cannot escape, huh? writing helps clear my head from writer's block, right? I guess I'd better try harder :(

  12. I'm sorry your stuck. If I were in Quebec, I'd take you to lunch with another one of my favorite Quebec blogging buddies - catenabi chronicles. We could brainstorm together. :)

  13. Claudia,

    I'm an advocate of the Stare and Swear method.

    1. Stare at computer screen.
    2. Swear repeatedly until something comes.

  14. AAWWW, you're so sweet, Michelle. Yes, brainstorming together would definitely work ;)

    LOL! Adam, you're a riot!
    I'll give it a try. :))

  15. Il dolce far niente -- Yes, exactly. Sometimes, you need to just stop and do nothing. Your writer's brain is probably recharging. If you try too hard to write, it may have the same effect as trying to get to sleep on a restless night. Just go with it, but keep your keen sense of observation about you. Do nothing, but pay attention to everything. All of a sudden, you'll find yourself with a handful of ideas, and you'll be back in the groove again.

  16. Hi Chris,
    Thank you for stopping by. Sorry I didn't answer sooner but I had a rough week. On top of a heavy workload, I was under the weather. :(
    Doing nothing really helps. I don't want to force myself because I know I won't produce anything that reflects my writing style. Hope you're right, I want my groove back ;)

  17. Claudia, step away and read something else--and make sure it is for pleasure. Reading the brilliance of others gets me motivated to make my own foot print.

  18. Hi Anna,
    Thank you for your wonderful suggestion. Yes, reading someone else's work is always inspiring. It's just that I am physically tired from two crazy weeks at work and from the medicine I was taking. I just hope I get my motivation back soon. :)

  19. Dear Claudia, I'm surprised!
    Haven't you considered temporarily dropping everything you're doing, writing included, and read? Read your favourite book, find consolation and inspiration in the words of another great writer or novelist? I'm doing this right now: Proust has become my mentor, Swann has become my best friend in this rough period.
    I recall what Jung reported in "Memories, Dreams, Reflections"; during a trip to northern Africa, while resting outside of a train station, an English gentleman walked to him and said: "This is the land of God. When something goes wrong and you don't know what to do, just sit down and wait". Then the gentleman walked away. There wasn't an actual reason why he walked to Jung and spoke those words to him.
    I believe when things go wrong, when we're blocked for some reason, we only have to sit down and wait; but everything will be much easier if we have our favourite book with us, don't you think?

    Well, hope this helps in case of future blocks :)

  20. For me, my walls come out of guilt. Feeling guilty for sitting down and indulging my imagination when I know full well that I could be spending the time completing some D.I.Y. task about the house. I write best when free of such 'niggles' - that and the dead of night, when no phone, tv, radio, traffic noise or house activity will disturb (a legacy from my uni days doing my graphic design degree, back when I was in my late 30s).

    I also find that getting 'too precious' over the things I write can drag me to a halt. That fear of writing total garbage, which I know is illogical, because folks won't (and can't) read it until you set it free upon your chosen platform. But then, we are only human... aren't we?