Thursday, January 1, 2009

Writer’s Block – NOT, Part II

Where was I? Oh, yes. Wad-O-String, the other variety of rough patch I sometimes hit that is not – I repeat – NOT – Writer’s Block”.

Wad-O-String is unrelated to inspiration. I can be plenty inspired, and still find I’ve written myself into knots. Like a literal tangle of yarn, the harder you pull, the tighter the knots. Whatever it is that I’m trying so hard to say becomes convoluted, prickly, wadded up, my original thread inextricably tangled up in….goo. (Forgive me, Bob)
And, like the knotted yarn, you have to loosen up, work from the other end for a while. If it’s a short story, work on a different scene, flesh out a different character. You might find fresh insight from a different part of the story. Another trick is to work on something else, altogether. If it’s a short story that’s binding you, work on a poem, or children’s story, a personal essay, a journal entry. Often, while you are keeping your brain occupied with something else entirely, your subconscious either gets the knot out, or finds a solution you’d never even considered.

One more word on the Shy Toddler Syndrome I mentioned yesterday. One other cure is simply to write anyway. Even if it’s nothing but driveling crud, keep writing. Eventually, you’ll bore yourself to tears with your own whining and get over it. In any case, don’t; turn a rough patch into a clinical diagnosis. It ain’t nothing but a thang, so SNAP OUT OF IT! and get back to work.

Oh, and Happy New Year.

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