It's tricky to navigate the confusing labyrinth of post-writer's-block thought. Here are a couple things to keep in mind in order to make the most of your newly liberated brain power.
By Annissa Omran (Writer/College Student)
There is something I’ve been struggling with for a while and I think that it’s time I share it with you all here at Crazytown.
It is a hard thing to open up about, but I feel comfortable as a member of this community and I truly believe that you deserve to know.
So here it goes.
…have writer’s block.
(My brain isn't big on cooperation)
Or at least, I had writer’s block. I am currently three weeks clear and proud of it. It was a serious problem for quite some time and now that I have survived it I want to share my story with the world.
There is always hope.
All joking aside though, there really is something wonderfully bracing about new ideas. They come at the weirdest times and with varying intensities. Anyone who writes on a regular basis can appreciate the mental explosion that occurs at the end of a particularly dry bought of writer’s block.
I can categorize the kinds of ideas I experience into three separate groups.
1. The Steady Stream
This is when your idea develops methodically, as though some little workers in your brain are standing by in an assembly line, carefully organizing your thoughts on a perpetually flowing conveyor belt of innovation and creativity.
This kind of idea is easy to capture because it all comes naturally. There is no untangling to be done and your frustration seems to cease instantly. The only thing you need to worry about is keeping the union of tiny grey matter elves residing in your cranium from going on strike again anytime in the near future.
Writing Tip: Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little. When it all comes in such an organized fashion it can be tempting to just leave it as is on the paper. But these aren’t your mind’s ultimatums. Once they are out in the open make sure to reassess and reexamine your creative options. Maybe you can switch up the dialogue, reverse a characterization, or change a setting. It's your work and you needn’t feel obligated to take your brain’s initial suggestions as law.
2. The Tumbling Jumble
This is when you are hammered with a slew of ideas, all of them coming at you in rapid succession. It’s almost like a headache that you just cant shake. It can be almost as stressful as the writer’s block that precedes it.
(This is your brain when the grey matter elves reach Lucy-levels of hysteria)
You’ll recognize this type of idea as the kind that leaves you frustrated with your own inability to get words to paper fast enough. This onslaught makes it hard to solidify your thoughts because they are gone before you have a chance to record them.
Writing Tip: Take a breath and try to center yourself. If you can, get on a computer. Typing is usually faster than writing by hand, and you might be able to salvage more if you can let the ideas drip from your fingertips. It’s not going to be pretty, so don’t expect it to be. This is a time for jotting and sketching. You will have plenty of time later to decipher your notes. Just get it all down!
3. The Tickling Fancy
Have you ever had that concept flitting in your head, kind of leaving a tingling sensation on the underside of your scalp, as though it were dancing and sidestepping about, toying with your subconscious? This kind of idea is complicated because it is much more abstract than the other two.
We tend to overlook these kinds of ideas, writing them off as fleeting and thus unsubstantial. You might zone out for a bit, your mind trying to hold on to the lingering tendrils of thought.
Writing Tip: If you feel yourself falling into a pseudo-daze like this, don’t ignore it. Assess the mood you’re in. Go over the thoughts you’d been thinking just prior to the feeling. Listening to music relevant to the mood you’re in might also help jog your memory. Above all – don’t disregard these feelings. Every thought is relevant even if it doesn’t seem so in that moment. Who knows, that chicken scratch on the bar napkin might just be foundation of the next big hit. It doesn’t hurt to be careful.
Some additional helpful information can be found in the holy grail of all things writing, Purdue OWL.
I guess the main lesson here is that writing everything down is essential. Your overall technique is up to you: dream journals, notebooks hidden around the house, pens perpetually kept in pockets – they all work.
Just make sure that you put it out there. An idea means close to nothing until it is given life. Flesh it out with a swipe of ink across a page or with a word typed out definitively into a computer document. Your imagination does so much for you, you owe it that much.
is a long-time Crazytown reader, first time contributor. She is currently a college student and eternally a writer. An old movie aficionado, her interests include show tunes, singing loudly, and singing show tunes loudly. She also provides a (dramatic) running commentary on the life of a young writer.www.annissaness.tumblr.com
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