You're the Voice: Leah on the dreaded writer's block
As an aspiring writer I like to take inspiration from the world around me and interpret that inspiration into ideas and emotions and eventually, words. Whether they make it into a story, poem or post remains to be questioned, but hey, it’s the thought that counts! (I made you smile there. Don’t deny it J)
Lack of inspiration, or just lack of finding it, is called writers’ block and is the bane of every author’s life. Including mine, yours, and every other person who ever learned to draw and put together the symbols that make up our alphabet and our language. So how do you get past this obnoxious disease? What can you turn to for the inspiration that will set your brain and your fingers moving?
Number one priority for curing writer’s block is, of course, looking around yourself. Inspiration can be found anywhere, in anything. I’m sitting in my kitchen right now, hitting keys on my laptop, and I’ve been sitting here for about three hours trying to think of what to write – which is where the inspiration for this post came from. Looking around though, I can see several ideas that only need a human mind to convert them into stories, like the old photograph of the builders sleeping on the foundations of what we now call the Empire State building.
What could I create with that? A history lesson, perhaps? Maybe I could talk about black-and-white reading, or people writing stories ‘on the line’ – far-fetched, but it still comes from that picture from so long ago. It’s possible, to say the least.
Talking to family and friends is another option. After asking them for ideas, studying the relationships between different people is an ideal source for inspiration for the types of relationships you want to create with fictional characters of your own. You could also watch public bickers in the schoolyard, confront your worse enemies (socialising with people who dislike literature), or even study strangers’ conversations - though not to the point that it becomes rude, of course.
And, of course, novels are a HUGE source of inspiration. Whether it’s the plot, the ideas, the characters, or the writing style, you’ll find that many of the books you read are inspired loosely from one or many other books and texts. For example, I had been reading a Terry Pratchett novel around the time my first blog was being written, which explains the snide comments and the abstract ideas employed in the text. The trick is not to base your story too much around someone else’s – which can be quite hard. (That’s what fanfiction’s for, hey?)
So really, despite all vulgarities, it's actually pretty easy to overcome writer's block, as long as you keep your mind open and your brain thinking about seemingly random things that may become your next bestseller – or your next A+, whichever is appropriate.
What are your methods for curing writer’s block? What do you turn to for inspiration?