Monday, 23 February 2015

Hitting the Roadblock

Monday, 23 February 2015
So I was going to start this post with some crazy metaphor, but I'm not sure how that's going to go. Well, here goes. You're driving along in your car heading somewhere (hopefully somewhere really exciting) but then you come across a roadblock. You sort of sit there for a minute wondering what to do next, there might be diversion signs or they might have decided to be really annoying and not be helpful like that, meaning you have to dig out your maps on your phone or whatever. You then have to take a really long detour which you feel has wasted you loads of time, but, you went past some places you've never seen before, and guess what? You did eventually reach your destination.

At this point, you're proabably thinking I've lost the plot (unintentional but effective pun there). This is a metaphor for when you're writing and you have that moment when you get stuck and don't know what to write, or how to write what you want to say. You get stuck (hitting the roadblock) and to get around it and continue the story you might end up taking a different route or using different ideas to what you intended (the diversion), which then ends up providing some new insight (the diversion actually has really nice scenery). Basically, what I'm trying to say is that getting stuck isn't necessarily a bad thing. All writers hit that roadblock at some point, and it can be really frustrating, but it can also lead to new and exciting things you hadn't thought of before.

There is no particular way to overcome writers block. Sometimes, nothing works, and you just have to be patient and wait for inspiration to strike. Some people use music or other kinds of media/culture to gain inspiration. A change of scene can also be good, go and visit some nice place near you e.g. the beach, a park. Sometimes just leaving the idea alone for a while is the best thing to do. Or don't completely stop the project, write another part of it or do some planning while waiting for the right idea to come.

One way to prevent this (although it is impossible to do so completely, it is inevitable) is to plan thoroughly. I know this isn't everyone's groove and if it isn't your style/the way you like to work then you don't have to plan. There is no particular way of doing things, every writer has their own way. But if you plan then you're less likely to get stumped. Knowing your characters really well can also help because if you get stuck you think about how they would react to the situation they are in and what they would do.

In terms of how to say what you want to say there isn't really a way around this. Sometimes you get that moment where you know what you want to write, you just don't know how to put it. In this case getting something down is generally better than nothing, because you will just get stuck. Even if it sounds ridiculous right something, try a few different versions. You can always come back to it later so maybe write a note to yourself that it needs working on.


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