Writers Block

As you are all aware by this point, my main point of study at university at the moment is creative writing. This semester, in one of my papers, I have to create a short video using a smartphone device, my theme is going to be Creative Writing obviously, but I'm going to be looking at two key points - "Windows into another world" and "Writers Block"

This exerpt is from some of my personal musings on my private university blog for the project, I thought it worth sharing since it holds some truths that other creative writers out there may find useful or insightful. Enjoy!

Writers Block.

With these two words, I've probably caused just about every creative writer reading this article to tense up instinctively. It is a creative writers worst nighmare and the bane of all creativity.

It is when you might be working away like a finely tuned engine, churning out a steady flow of material and then like an engine that has run dry of oil, it will sieze up and come to a GRINDING halt. No matter what you do, nothing seems to get it working again, nothing seems to get the creative flow back in motion.

Another analogy could be of the writer walking along a path, it has its ups and downs, representing the highs and lows of the story you are writing. All of a sudden, however, you come face to face with a flat, cliff-like wall that stretches up to the clouds, as smooth as a blank sheet of paper (yet another analogy), absolutely nothing to grab hold of and continue your journey.

Sometimes, as bizarre as it may seem, the best option is to take a step back from what you are doing and work on another project (Not another writing project, something COMPLETELY unrelated) - play a game, go for a walk, anything that will get you thinking about random things. Forcing yourself to come up with material when your mind is simply blank is one of the worst things a person can do, all you are doing is guaranteeing that your work will not be the best it can be, since you will not be taking the time to let your creative juices flow naturally.

An alternate mindset regarding writers block that I also believe in, is that the concept of "writers block" is nothing more than an illusion, an obstacle that is set there by the writer themself out of their own vanity, their criticality of their own work. You may be thinking to yourself "No no, that is too silly, there is NO way the reader would like that..." - I ask you this: What makes you so certain that they won't? Out of the billions of people on the planet, do you honestly believe that not a SINGLE soul would pick up your work and read it? Rather than jumping to the 'inevitable' conclusion that the idea is simply too ridiculous, that it is something that would be a dead end, that there is no way anyone would enjoy it... just take the idea and RUN with it, sure it may be crazy, sure it MIGHT not work, but you won't know if it is a success or a failure until it is actually down on paper and in front of your target audience, or at the very least your proofreaders.

Perhaps you are of two minds of which direction to take your story? Perhaps you have two concepts in your mind, both seem equally good (or equally bad?) and can't decide which path to take. Why not write BOTH paths and see which one is the better once it is actually written on your screen? Save them as two separate documents - Revision A and Revision B, work on both of them and get feedback from your proof-readers as to which one would be the better to work with.

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