www.whyville.net Jan 30, 2011 Weekly Issue

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Conquering Writer's Block

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If you write regularly, there's a good chance you've been taunted by the sneaking little thing we like to call writer's block. Sometimes, we'll have ideas running through our minds non-stop. Other times, it seems like there's some wedge in our creativity, ceasing the flow of article/short story/poem ideas!

How do we conquer this invisible road block? There's many ways to do so, and some will work for one person, and maybe not the next. It's a matter of feeling around and seeing what works best for you. However, since we lack the means to go over every idea out there, I've decided to list my top five.

1. Writing for five minutes.

What do I mean, exactly? Just what I said, actually - get a piece of paper or get up a document to type on, set a timer for five minutes and just write! It can be total gibberish, just write every word that comes to mind, they don't even have to make sentences . . . just write. This usually helps me by getting my creative juices flowing, my mind warmed up, and soon enough I'll have a few ideas starting to take root.

2. Read!

This may seem a bit stupid at first - why would you go and read someone else's work if you wanted to think up original ideas? Well, when I read, it usually gets me thinking; whether it is a news article, a short story, a book, etc. Reading gets my mind going; exactly want you want to happen when your mind refuses to start up on its own.

3. Forget about it for a while!

You're suffering from writer's block, and you've been staring at your blank screen (or paper) for hours. My advice? Forget about it for a while. Get up and go for a walk, read a book, go out with some friends - just get away from it, then come back with a fresh mind.

4. Pick a random topic and learn about it.

What I like to do sometimes is get online and search something like: list of major historic battles, why the sky is blue, or maybe, most popular misspelled words. I just pick a topic at random (I don't even have to be that interested in it), and learn about it. Usually, I'll get an idea after researching for a while; sometimes it's not even concerning that topic.

5. Listen to music.

Now, this may not work for everybody, but I happen to love music (very much so!), and one of my favorite things about it is the lyrics. Then, when writer's block strikes, I'll go to youtube, type in a song, and watch a lyric video of it. Like most of the other ideas, this gets my mind to thinking, and those ideas that I thought had been non-existent, start to emerge from the foggy corners of my mind.

I hope one of these helped you - if not, there's a world of possibilities out there; you just have to open them up!

'Til next time,


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