Monthly Archives: August 2013

Writer’s Block (Paper vs Word)

Don’t we just all hate it when writer’s block befalls us?

Indeed!

But here’s a tip I’ve experienced many times:

Most people now write using Microsoft Word or any other text editor, thus putting the traditional paper and pencils method in the corner. However, when assaulted by writer’s block, I’ve noticed that changing from one medium to the other actually helps! I’m one who simply never leaves home without my notepad (if not a huge notebook) and at least one pen (but there is usually more than one lurking at the bottom of my bag), even though it’s now contrary to ‘standards’. Also, when I’m really stuck, sometimes using a pencil instead of a pen triggers some new feelings and emotions, making it all easier to flow…

For those who are like me, I suggest to first try the ‘pen-switching’ method, in order to spur some old ways and sensations. If it still doesn’t work enough to your taste, no matter how hard it is (trust me, I understand for writing on the computer isn’t what I call ‘writing’ to me, but to each his own!), turn on the computer, take a seat, and stare at Word. More than once have ideas, images or only fragments of sentences and single words popped up in my mind and I could already imagine them on the page – no need to say I wrote them all down quickly, making sure to render the closest image of it. Some might say ‘Myeah, well, there’s still nothing to me!’, well, to them I’ll say to not concentrate on ‘making a story’ or ‘having to have ideas’, but simply calm down, take a deep breath – no matter what rush you’re in -, and let your emotions and mind guide you. As you go on, you’ll notice you’ve already written a paragraph describing your precise mental image or word, which you could, of course, integrate to your current story.

Step by step is the way, I’m telling you!

Now, for those of the majority who spend their time on Word and seem to not be able to have any new idea or continuity to their story, I’d say: forget technology even exist and go buy a notebook with pens or pencils (I suggest you use the latter if the first hasn’t helped at all or not nearly enough), push away your computer and go sit down at a table with your new artifacts. You won’t even need to focus on having ideas or feelings for emotions will do it all on their own. As you scribble on the paper, using the traditional pen(cil), the scratching of its tip and the ease of mind one gets from it will spur images or words without needing to think hard about it. They’ll just appear; of course, you have to write them down, even if it seems pointless, because you’ll soon notice the story will progress or, at least, have descriptions written and new sentences or concepts to add to it.

Spirit sometimes rejoices of change – routine is often a dead-end for ideas.

Try this and tell me if it works for you :) !

                                                                                     – Ad Librum Aeternam,

Catherine G.V.

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