Yes. The dreaded disease that plagues all writers at some point or another: Writer’s Block.

I’ve dealt with this numerous (which is to say: many, many, many) times, the longest time having lasted about two weeks.

So, how does one deal with this? I’m gonna’ have to go back to Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, for this.

In that book (which I highly recommend) Anne Lamott addresses the fact that sometimes, you just need to LEAVE IT ALONE. Welcome distractions. By this I mean go do something else. Take a walk downtown, or visit a park. Watch a movie. Listen to music. Distract yourself from writing anything. In all honesty, this is what works best for me. If you sleep on an idea, or just ignore it and get out there, you’ll find inspiration from the real world!

In these cases, you can always ring a small memo pad, or a notebook, or your laptop, and just jot down whatever you see. Write a description of the sidewalk. Write whatever. You could even eavesdrop and write down what people are saying as dialogue (tip: if you have your laptop or iPod, you can pretend to listen to music by putting your headphones on, but not actually playing anything). And before you call me out for being creepy, authors do this since Jane Austen’s time, the technique has just been refined.   

Another thing you can try, which is just the opposite of what I previously suggested, is just write. I know, I know, this is writer’s block. It’s where you just sit and stare at a blank piece of paper or your computer screen and nothing’s coming. Hear me out. Sometimes all you can do is just write about ANYTHING. The first idea that pops into your head, however stupid, dull, or all around crappy it may seem, just WRITE ABOUT IT! Heck, you could even write about writer’s block (*cough*), and there ya go!

So what if you write something that’s crappy? There’s always something to unearth, no matter how frustrating it may be to find.

 

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