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Writer’s block

I’ve been asked quite a few times what I think of writer’s block and how often I get it so I thought I’d post about it on my blog.

I don’t actually believe in writer’s block as such. I actually just think one of two things happens. We either get worn out creatively and need to recharge our memory banks with experiences or we get distracted too easily. Both can slow down a writing schedule alone but when both strike together it can pretty much kill a well planned schedule. I know that from first hand experience. As I write this I’m actually struggling with both. My creative capacity feels dry and I just don’t seem to have any motivation to ignore the many distractions trying to get my attention.

Today I want to talk about ways to refill that creative well and get the new ideas and juices flowing again.

The first thing I try when struggling is a good old fashioned walk. I know where all the good walks are near my house for good and bad weather. I also find walking to a coffee shop can help but sometimes it’s just good to get out the house and let the brain dwell on anything else it might want to process before it can get back to my complicated plots and character’s lives. The sunshine is also really good and stops me appearing quite such a pasty faced geek.

If that doesn’t work I’ll take a day or two off and indulge in all my hobbies. Anything that might put ideas into the pot, like reading books, watching films and playing computer games. It’s important that there is inspiration coming into the mix and fresh ideas so I usually find this is a good time to read, watch or play something a bit more out there and different to my usual fare.

If that still leaves me feeling uninterested or uninspired I switch to one of my other creative pursuits. Either clothes design or drawing or anything else that’s different enough I can get the pressure off and try and create without deadlines or need for it to be any good. If pressure or worry about something not being good enough has been the killer of my creativity then this works a charm.

Finally, if I’m still struggling after all that I’ll consider my options carefully. I may just need some more time off because it’s stress that’s caused the problems. I may just need to recharge and talk to people, or I may need to just give myself a good kick up the butt and get working again. Very very occasionally I might need to stop the project I’m struggling with and come back to it a few months down the line. Sometimes the timing just isn’t right.

Either way. It usually get’s resolved eventually. Now I’m off to play some games…