Issue #2 of 2009 - Writer's Block
A little help for you to get those words flowing.
Words Just Won´t Come Out?
Yes, it happened to me when I tried to get started with this newsletter. I had great ideas to put into "paper" but for some reason I just couldn't get the words flowing.
I paint also and to an artist the equivalent of writers block is of course the empty canvas syndrome. You stand there, staring at the canvas and then you start to doubt. You doubt if your idea is good enough to start on. Or is it too difficult. Will it ever look good? And you cannot paint a single thing.
The same with writer's block.
Then a memory came to my mind. I was still at school and it was time to write an essay in class. We were given several subjects to choose from. I loved writing and was ready to write as long as the time permitted - as usual. I took my pencil, put the tip on paper and… nothing. Suddenly my mind was totally blank. I wrote a word of two, erased them, write something else, erased that. Panic hit me - I just had to write an essay!
It was that "have to" that efficiently stopped me from reaching within my mind to find the stories that were there. (And trust me, I knew they were there - I wrote for hours on many days when I got home from school).
We have a saying here where I live. "A rooster doesn´t crow on demand". It felt so true to me! The harder I tried to demand my mind to give me a story, the tighter the door to my imagination was shut.
And then I just did the only thing I could. I started writing notes about what was happening around me. How someone was erasing furiously what he was writing. How someone smiled when she wrote. How the teacher was making notes to a book. How a truck passed the window. What I saw on the window of the house on the other side of the street. How the clock was ticking minutes away. I wrote my essay about our class writing an essay, describing everything I saw.
And it worked! I made a long essay of our essay writing class and told in it that I had writer´s block and just had to write something, which is why I decided to write what happened in our class.. My amused teacher gave me an A and said that "a good writer makes a story out of anything".
So how about you try this little method too?
If you feel you cannot write a word, take a moment and concentrate on writing about your immediate surroundings.
What are people doing? What kind of music do you hear? What do you see happening? What is on your desk?
It may be it is enough to write just a few sentences to get over the mental obstacle of "I don´t know what to write". (You might also realize that we write our best stories about what we know. We are more relaxed when we know what we write about and can have more fun with the language itself.)
Thinking of people with this kind of problem I put some story starters on my site too. A few sentences that start a story. Take them and continue the story. You can send the story back to be published on the site if you wish (full credit given to you as the author).
You will find the story starters
Hope these will help you get your words flowing. I sure had fun when I wrote them - maybe I will also write them into full stories one day. We could "compare notes" if you send your story in too.
Oh, you want to know how I got over the writer's block with this newsletter? Well, actually it was pretty easy. One of our cats decided to jump on a kitchen counter. Halfway up he realized there was a toaster on what he had thought to be an emply landing pad.
The cat realized he would fall back on the floor in a rather ungraceful way and of course tried to stop this from happening. Now if I tell you he tried to stay put in mid-air by grabbing the toaster with his front paws, you probably know what happened next.
Oh yes, gravity won and I got my words flowing. (Well, I have to admit I did not write in great detail the rather flowery language my husband used when the machine fell on the floor almost on his toes, spreading bread crumbs all over the place. We must mind the manners, after all...)
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Leena Pekkalainen is a writer who specializes in inspirational short stories that uplift the reader. You will find her stories and positive attitude tips at https://www.inspirational-short-stories.com
This article about Writer's Block was first published in Inspirational Short Stories newsletter.
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