We all suffer from this one. Well not all of us, only those of us who claim to be writers, or just write and when we are completely bamboozled as to what we can write that would amuse or mildly entertain us we transfer all the blame to this overused apology for lack of any creative brilliance called Writer’s Block.
So what do we do to combat this illness?
Wake up and brush and take a shower. Turn off the TV and get off the couch. Get a pet guniea pig. Go walk the dog. Walk and get over the block.
Go green and stop eating for a day or two. Make resolution to write a page every day.
Go bungee jumping. Do aventure and extreme sports. Dabble in the occult. Learn fang-shui and tarot and crystal-ball reading.
Participate in a reality show or a talent hunt. Sign up to enter a secret military intelligence gathering agency.
Drink soup. Or liquor. Anything, just drink. Something’s bound to get you worked up and if you remember what you did, probably you can just pen it down and it may turn out to be not that bad for a start.
If these don’t work, watch a movie or read a book. You might get suddenly inspired and produce a imitation or a review or either disguised under the other.
In case you are worried you might get influenced, albeit subconsciously, by the perusal of such iterms, then just stare. Have a good look at the world around you. Stare at the ceiling fan and think about the cycle of life and its futilty ( Try keeping images of people hanging from the ceiling out of your mind here). Look outside the window, see how people rush about their daily lives and for once, get over yourself and try, try really hard to weave a story about those random strangers walking in front of you. If nothing fails to grab your attention, look harder and find someone really good looking and just stare. This may lead you to two things- you might just find your muse and a story henceforth or you might end up being reported to the cops on grounds of harrassment and hell, that might be some experience to write about!!
For those who seek inspiraton within, stare at your diary with a pen stuck in your mouth, fingers tapping to some tuneless rhythm while you are drooling on the page. You may go back a fifty odd pages and find something to read and wonder why in the world would you bother to write something so trivial in your diary, and that too in such detail. Then you’d come back again to the blank page st taring back at you. Here you might want to doodle and scribble and draw tiny hearts or smileys or stars or you might just sign your name again and again till you move on to another fresh page. Do a small recap and think of all that has happened to you in the recent past- would you want to put down your encounter with the dentist or your seventy seventh failed attempt to start gymming into words and seal them for posterity and private use? If you are a person with feelings and emotions and acknowledgement of the same, you might as well pour out all that you feel, wanted to feel or think you could have felt. You can garnish this with some help from your pocket dictionary and voila! you have a heart warming account of whatever monumental event that occured in your life.
But for those handicapped by the very prospect of having to use pen and paper for writing, well, boot up! Stare at your screen, with that cursor blinking on that white background and resist the urge to do the following things:
*Open other old files and just read them.
*Watch sitcoms ( Those addictive things are pure evil, but more about them later)
*Go online on pretext of using reference or online dictionary, because once you are there you might get tempted to do these :
– Look up stuff for reference and one thing leads to another and you end up reading Lindsay Lohan’s latest blog post about new shoes.
– Chat up with the never-ending list of online friends and you go on talking about what flavour of ice cream you had for dinner last night.
– Visit Facebook and check out photo-albums and upload some more photos and this goes on for days!!!
– Dabble in the piracy debate with someone while downloading movies and music by the dozen.
– Just “surf” (rather cruise) the internet and amuse yourself into boredom.
So there, once you have been staring at the cursor for more than eight minutes, let your fingers dance away on the keyboard and just type. Practise typing if you may, just type. You are bound to form comprehensible words and meaningful sentences after a while.
Ok, these are the standard issue methods. For the ones ready to go that extra mile here’s what to do.
Talk to friends, foes and strangers. Go to cafes and work the coffee and conversation formula. Just talk, and discuss and argue and talk some more. Share, listen, laugh, cry, give all the appropriate expressions with the aaah, hmmm, oooh, yeah? and chat up with people. Engage youself in a conversation with someone who speaks a language completely foreign. Act like a journalist, complete with notepad and pen, and interview people. Pretend and lie and become another person and talk. Talk to shady characters, to indifferent ones, to the bold and beautiful and allow yourself to be bothered enough to take an interest in their lives. Steal away their small glories and convert them into magnificient tales.
Fall in love. Fall, go all the way and mess yourself up. Go through all those feelings and emotions capable of mention in your all time favorite phil collins or lionel richie song. Listen to all those love songs, sit and day-dream under the sun. Abandon work and lie in bed all day, doing nothing. Talk for hours and smile a lot. Fight and cry, a lot. Sing and scream. Make up and make out. Forgive and forget and reminisce. Walk the bed of nails and tread the carpet of roses. Wait and let go. Possess and permit. Give away and take it back. Take away and return the favour. Wear red.
If you possess a full pocket to finance trips and expenses or passion for places, travel. Go exploring. Venture into uncharted territories. Board a bus, train or a flight, hitch-hike a ride, hop on to a boat, go to unmarked destinations. Visit the seven wonders of the world. Swim the deep waters and scale the great heights. Live in suitcases and tents, in student hostels or luxury hotels. In the name of cuisine, experiment with local delicacies. Do a hula dance. Fall sick with food poisoning. Get frost-bite. Try living in the desert with one single flask of water for five days. Go without a raincoat or umbrella where it never stops raining. Go to a sunny beach without sunscreen. Cycle across countries. Swim across the English Channel. Go Natgeo!
All these methods can be adopted in different permutations and combinations, as deemed fit by your inner wrting advisor. And if you find time from executing all these magic tircks, you can sit down and just write and get over that uninvited guest of a writer’s block.