‘Writer’s block’ is no doubt something you’ve heard of. What to write? How can I move on with the story I’ve begun or want to begin.
The pen hovers over the paper, or your fingers are twitching, wondering when the words will start to flow.
Stories come from all over the place. If you are stuck, most probably there isn’t something you are inspired to write just now. Maybe, it’s a case of not being in the right frame of mind or the kids are murdering one another and you can’t think straight, so not the right time. Sometimes it’s any excuse not to move forward, but from personal experience my issues revolve around ‘it’s not good enough’ or ‘how to say that in a more concise and enjoyable way?’
However, if you are new to this fine craft, and want to write but find it daunting, just to make that start that is an entirely different matter. Let’s take the fear out of one of the drawbacks to writing – the only person who is going to read what you write is you. Until of course you want to share it! So, does it really matter if it doesn’t sound quite like Shakespeare? The most important thing to do is to get going.
Okay let’s assume you can’t think of what how to get going. How about trying some of these simple exercises:
Bullet point your ideas onto stickers. Each bullet point will have a meaning to you – if you can extend it into a short, simple statement, so the bullet point is a clearer memory jogger. Keep them. You can use them anytime. Either now or in the future.
Re-write a story that has been told in the newspaper – your version of the truth, not theirs.
Funny, sad, balanced, whatever. Just have a shot at it.
Most recently I’ve been thinking about Matt Hancock and THAT story! I felt more for their families and the devastation they’ve left behind. Spread like greasy slime all over the papers, on the news, SHOWING THE FREEZED FRAME and then copy cats sending out texts if actors extending the action. (I had one of those). It would be enough to crucify everyone, but their family? Come on, where is the kindness in that! Then there is the issue of WHO and HOW a camera was set up in the first place. Don’t get me wrong Mr Hancock and his friend were definitely out of order (not my business), but really – this is a security breach.
Are you with me so far? Okay, you don’t like or agree with what I’ve written. Great. Write down your version! Just putting those words on paper is the beginning of a truly wonderful experience.
LISTEN TO CHAT RADIO stations like Jeremy Vine or similar. Voices are interesting, accents, the way their inflections often give a hint where they live. The stories are there, and it all adds to the dimension.
LISTEN TO THE ARCHERS – yes, seriously I found them the other day. They’ve been around for eternity, but, if you like soaps or want to write about life – the Archers have story lines that are easy to follow and give some clues to writing. Okay – so radio or soaps are not your bag, but if you don’t try…
Or here’s another exercise – which I confess I find difficult to do, but can be amusing:
You’ve heard of people watching. Of course, you have. Sit in a coffee shop. Pen in hand and pick on someone that you like the look of, or not. Start describing the clothes, the way they walk. Who they are with? Imagine the story behind that. Ae they on their own. Do they look comfortable in their surroundings? Happy, sad, excited. Dream up their profession, or family background and their history.
Pick up a book and re-write a chapter. Yes, you can. Make the characters change places. He to her. See what happens. You will be amazed. It should give you a laugh if nothing else.
Here’s another exercise. Go for a walk in the woods or somewhere, anywhere, or even in your minds eye. Allow your mind to free itself. Dance, sing. Whatever. Imagine you’re stepping inside an aeroplane. Next you are looking out the window and you can see the exact place you want to be. Where are you going? What will it be like when you get there? Hot, cold, wet? Have you taken your cossie? Is there a beach or bar? Who are you going to meet? Are you alone because something sad has happened? Maybe, you are with family, friends. Going on a hen or stag. The possibilities are endless. Just remember if you tell yourself you can’t, you won’t, because you know best. So give it a go and prove yourself wrong for once.
Oh, and by the way, I’m going on chat and spin radio on 31 July. Oh dear. That’s going to be a whole new story. Bye for now. Hope this has helped. Happy singing, shouting, dancing, writing.
One more thing. I would be so grateful if you could share my links with your friends. Thank you so much.