Something very, very bad happened today. I got writer’s block.
For someone who earns her living, and genuinely enjoys the process of writing, this is a bad thing. For me, it isn’t necessarily a total lack of ideas, but a lack of good ideas. I saw a thousand roads before me, all leading absolutely nowhere.
For a while, I sat and fumed at my computer. I did some research, thinking it might help unclog my brain. It didn’t. Finally I got desperate enough to Google “how to beat writer’s block.” I came across this excellent page of suggestions, and slowly but surely, the block began to thaw. I started doing some mindmapping, an activity which in the past I’ve always found useless, but in this case, visually organizing my thoughts helped tremendously.
Lorraine came along and we stood on our patio, discussing other possible approaches to take. I switched the project from third person to first, and gave myself permission to write badly. I sat down and began to bang out copy. As I did, I realized overcoming writer’s block isn’t about coming up with a brilliant and revolutionary new idea. Sometimes it’s as simple as sitting your butt in the chair and getting something on paper.
Do I like what I wrote? Not really. But I’m proud I could at least unblock myself enough to get a starting point. Tomorrow I intend to come in and demolish the piece, hopefully coming up with something I do love. But now I’ll be prepared when writer’s block strikes again without warning.