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Ah Writer’s Block, we’ve all been there. An incredible idea thought or story just begging to be written, but with one teeny problem: How to turn that thought or concept into a polished, presentable product. Or maybe you’re staring barrel first into the hallowed abyss of the deadline firing squad.
Whatever the case may be, you’re not alone. And it’s not just fiction, or literature I’m talking about.. coding applies here as well. During the writing of this article, I was directly in the middle of a huge Writing-Wizard add-on for the Word Doctor, and once again I saw Writers’ Block rearing its’ ugly head.
When tackling a problem like this, I’m reminded of the “how to eat an elephant” analogy (one bite at a time!).
Bite # 1: Realize there’s a problem and identifying it. The problem is likely one of two things:
1) There’s a flaw in your project outline. Getting from one concept or plot event from another is choppy, or just doesn’t make any sense. Review your work and trim the fat!
2) There’s a problem with your approach. If you can’t seem to find a way to get your material where you want it to end up, you need to find a new way to get there. Take a break, and review with a fresh mind.
Bite # 2: You know what you want the finished product to look/act like but can’t find a way forward. Much like how many authors may stress over a simple phrase for several days before committing one down on paper, don’t be afraid to “let it percolate”. Before I make any major changes to Word Doctor, I’ll write a sample app, take the dogs for a walk or watch a movie. Sometimes I do all three, sometimes none but the important thing is to leave the idea alone for a while and come back fresh and recharged.
Bite # 3: Paper. If you’re serious about your work, you’ll do well to keep a pad of paper and pen on you at all times. You never know when that genius solution will present itself, and it’s usually at the most inconvenient time, so be ready for it!
Bite # 4: Brainstorming is the window to the subconscious. After jotting down a few possibly ridiculous concepts, you’ll find yourself exploring ideas that may surprise even yourself. It may sound silly, but it’s the most helpful exercise I can think of to jump start that creativity. Once you have enough new concepts and ideas down on paper, you’ll more than likely have enough material to overcome your current Brain-Fart, I mean Writers Block (ahem) And hey, you’ve already got that pad of paper in your pocket don’t you?
I hope this article serves in some way to help you fight through your writing struggles. Have any more helpful hints? Post them below!