Let’s just say that as of this moment, I should have finished writing a chapter for my online story already. However, amateur that I am, I still haven’t gone beyond three paragraphs.
This isn’t the first time it happened to me. Most of the time, I stare at the computer screen and wonder what on earth I am going to do with the story now. Often too, I would shut the computer down without writing a single word.
When that happens, I do five things in order to figure out what to do next.
1. Eat. Honestly, I think this is the best way to relax one’s mind and dig through one’s imagination. It may not work all the time
and would certainly make you fat but this is the best first step in trying to get over a short-term writer’s block.
For drinks, I suggest coffee. There is always something so stimulating about coffee. 🙂
2. Play a game/Watch a TV show. I’m not suggesting that you go and play an unlimited game of Tetris or COD or whatever game that has about a hundred different levels. What I’m suggesting is a short game of say, Temple Run or Subway Surfers or even the old school Nokia game, Snake. And what I meant by TV show, I meant an episode of a TV show. Or perhaps a movie. The short-term distraction might release the pressure off of your brain and might even give you some ideas for your next chapter.
3. Take A Bath. Or do any activity that involves water. For some insane reason, water relaxes me and my characters seem to want to ‘talk’ to me whenever I take a shower or wash the dishes. If anything, water activities are like spa treatments to my brain.
4. Do household chores. Or exercise. Perhaps this is because just like the body, the brain also needs some kind of exercise to ‘strengthen’ it or something along that line. Just like water, its effect on my imagination is less pressure. It also allows my imagination to wander. Mindless chores gives me the chance to burn the calories I consumed when I ate, and then multitask as I ‘exercise’ and think of the stories I write.
5. Write whatever. I mean, don’t let a day pass by without being able to write anything. Even if it’s just a sentence. Even if it’s awfully crappy. The bottom line is, you must write. Somewhere in all that crap, you’ll find the trigger you need in order to move on from where you stopped in your story. To be completely honest, this step is the most effective for me. In most times, I write gibberish either at the beginning of my story or at the beginning of a chapter. And then when I already got the ‘feel’ of the story, that’s the time I would look back and do some editing. 🙂
I cannot guarantee that any of this will work for a more serious case of writer’s block but if anything, the last part allows me to completely avoid experiencing it in the first place. 🙂
*photo by Vanjo Amarillento (not mine)*