WRITING: Creative Rejuvenation vs. Writers Block

I’ve been flirting pretty seriously with writer’s block lately. I’ve realised that despite reports to the contrary, writer’s block does exist. You know how I know? I’ve written 10-15 pages of a script in the past couple days and, despite being happy to have written it, it’s all terrible. I couldn’t get into the rhythms of the characters’ voices whatsoever, and the description is flat and lifeless instead of sharp and precise. I wrote through the block, but that didn’t cure it; it sat atop my laptop like a fat little devil, laughing at me struggling through the sticky mud of my lack of creative drive.

My main strategy for curing it? Starting a new project.

Part of writer’s block, as I experience it, is lack of excitement. When you’ve been working on a project for a while, it loses the energy that drives you to push forward. It’s a kind of spark that gets my creative engine running; not just for this particular project, but for all the projects I’m working on. I don’t quite understand how it works, but it does, like some kind of bizarre writer miracle. I just need to build the momentum to get started on something new and exciting, and I can often channel that into both the new project and whatever I’m previously blocked on.

In the spirit of said rejuvenation, I’ve started a new project. It’s a concept I’ve had in my heart for over a year now, including pitching it for the pitch competition during RTA in LA at UCLA this summer, but I’ve never properly dug into outlining the pilot. So, I’ve now started! And I’m deeply enjoying what feels like pure creativity, exploring characters I’ve known for ages in new situations and seeing them, in my mind’s eye, finally interact with one another.

What do you do to fight writer’s block?

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5 responses to “WRITING: Creative Rejuvenation vs. Writers Block

  1. Gwen December 9, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I agree with your post. Writer’s block is the worst, and I’ve found giving the brain a break from the project is the best cure for me. I think this is why it’s good to have more than one project going, too!

    • R. Lackie December 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      Oh, definitely! Taking a break from the project and working on something else is almost guaranteed to help. Glad to know this works for someone else too!

  2. Melissa Kinnel (@TizMellyMel) December 10, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I agree with starting a new project. It gives me a break on the current project and allows me time to come back to it with fresh eyes. I’m currently struggling with my novel and I have some short story ideas I’m developing to take the edge off my discontent with the novel. Writing poetry and reading helps me also.

    I once read a blog post where the writer suggested having your main character(s) write a letter about themselves or their feelings on a particular subject matter to help give you more insight into them. I’m thinking of implementing this technique.

    • R. Lackie December 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      I’d agree that writing a letter, or any piece of writing from your characters’ perspective, can be really useful in accessing their voice in a more detailed way. For NaNoWriMo, my project was a prose version of a scripted pilot from first-person perspective, and tackling the story from inside my protagonist’s head gave me a great view of him that he typically didn’t show the outside world. It’s a great, easy way to distill a character’s voice. So, I’d say that’s a great idea!

  3. Thelma H. Cameron February 10, 2013 at 3:21 am

    You’ll experience an enormous sense of relief, and two or three projects later, the log jam begins to undo itself and you can feel the writer’s block receding, breaking up, and new and other ideas coming to you again.

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