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Friday, 31 August 2012

Writer's Block Bashed!

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Someone once asked me if I ever got writer’s block.

I replied, “Not me.” I can't be sure, but I probably sounded arrogant. Silly, silly me.
 
Not once had I sat at the computer and stared at a blank white screen, waiting. Waiting for my imagination to spark, bursting forth wonderful words. My brain has always been on hyper drive, ready to zoom onto the next idea.

You see, my brain is much like a ping pong ball. It bounces inside my skull 24 hours a day, leaping from one thought to the next in a terrifically random pattern. Very useful if you’re hoping to live the creative life of say, a writer. Less useful, perhaps, if you’re hoping to live the orderly life of a Monk or (shivers) an accountant.

Suffice to say, never before had I experienced this writer’s block phenomenon. Until recently.
 
The problem may be that I am in the midst of three projects. Yes, three. This seemed doable when the words flowed like wine. Cool, crisp chardonnay. (Definitely not a Shiraz or Cabernet - red wines give me wicked migraines. Just to clarify. In case you come for dinner.)

Now where was I? Oh yes, my blank brain.  

Now each novel seems daunting and overwhelming. My brain is still flitting from idea to idea, but this time my thoughts are controlled by doubt, rather than gushing inspiration. 
 
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Can I make the revision on my romantic comedy work? Are the changes what the editor was looking for? Does the new character arc resonate with me?  

Can I do the characters in my paranormal story justice? Am I up for the task?

Since I never had to fret about being wordless, I hadn’t a clue how to fix my predicament. So, for the past few weeks I sat with my fingers hovering over the keyboard, the phone unplugged, my coffee growing colder, while I waited for something, anything remotely intelligent to pop into my melon. Heck, any old garbage would’ve been welcome. Nothing happened. Unless you count my digits seizing up, resembling wicked witch hands.

But this morning, after a lazy month or two of cottage living, I awoke early and went for a walk in the near dark, looking to shed a few pounds. But more enjoyable for me than the exercise was letting my mind wander as I walked our tree lined neighbourhood. 
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I could feel my creative juices replenishing as my imagination clicked online again. I day-dreamed and I wondered.
 
Sometimes I wondered out loud.
 
Thankfully my neighbours have grown use to me by now, so no one even noticed the crazy blond lady lurking in their shrubs.
 
"Who lives in that tiny house hidden behind that wild, overgrown prickly hedge? And that house, next to the hermit’s – it’s a perfectly kept mansion, yet the fence is bowing over under the weight of a fallen elm tree. What's up with that? Oh, and the three story Victorian home across the street, why do they have canvass covering every window? What secret are they hiding?" My nosey self pondered. My imagination soared.

I’d forgotten that a creative brain also needs to be exercised, allowed to expand and day dream; to wonder not only about the curious things around us, but also the every day, the mundane.
 
I raced home, leaped over the dog, and began typing. My understanding husband slipped a hot cup of coffee onto my desk, when I said, "Writing," to him rather than "Good morning."
 
The words have found me again, my writer's block is bashed.

Have you suffered from a spat of writer’s block? How have you overcome it? Or are you still entrenched?
 
Might I suggest a nice long walk with your brain unleashed, ready to imagine the possibilities that lay just behind a bush or a dilapidated fence.
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5 comments:

  1. Nice post, Jodi. Love this paragraph: "Who lives in that tiny house hidden behind..." My thoughts do this often when I'm driiving all those highway miles I do. Times like that I really enjoy my own company ;)

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  2. Thanks Christina.

    We definitely need to go for a walk together on our retreat weekend. Just imagine what wild story ideas we'll come up with together!

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  3. Hi Jodi,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I totally love your blog. I love how you think and write! Lesson #2 is my favorite. You now have a new fan, follower and author friend.
    You are the first person on Twitter that I met who reached out in sincerity to me. Yahoo!
    Cheers. Linda

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  4. Hi Linda,

    Well, that is the nicest post I have received from a "stranger." At least you were a stranger until now. :) The world of Twitter is a funny place. I don't like such distant connections, so I look at many of the blogs of people who follow me. If I see something that connects with my view of the world, I like to reach out and say, "Awesome job!" And your blog, your strong voice, and your call that we all take time to understand and accept each other hit a chord with me.

    So, three cheers to you!

    Jodi

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  5. Jodi,

    Wow, I accept and embrace your beautiful compliments. Thanks for the follow and yeah, glad we connected. You truly have a way with words!

    Best to you,

    Linda

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