I rarely get writer’s block. If I sit down to a computer to write, I usually am able to write something—it may be total gunk with shoddy dialogue and lame descriptions, but it’s something to begin working on. What happens more often to me is writer’s burnout, which is subtly different than writer’s block. In burnout, I can’t even sit down in front of the computer. The thought of sitting there and writing just fills me with revulsion. I have nothing left to give, and no thoughts to record. I have to do something else, no matter what it is, just something different.
Still, some of the techniques to deal with one are similar to the techniques to deal with the other. One effective approach is stream of consciousness writing. Basically, you sit down at your computer, open up a word processor and just start typing. Anything and everything that comes to mind goes to the computer. You might just start with garbage like “asd;faldkrj.” As long as your fingers keep moving, it doesn’t matter. Eventually you’ll start putting words together, then sentences, then before you know it, you’ll be typing something not unlike a diary entry, ranting at the universe and raving at God.
On the whole, the techniques of dealing with writer’s block involve putting something on the screen. Whether it makes sense or not, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t like typing gibberish, take a piece of dialogue from someone else’s novel, or a section of narrative, type it into your computer and start tinkering with it, seeing if you can improve it. Or find a book on writing and just pull out an exercise and do it. Before you know it, you’ll be back on track.
Burnout is a little tougher as it usually involves a psychological revulsion towards all things writing. Even the stream of consciousness technique may be insufficient. In such a case, the best technique, and one that I am very poor at executing, is: do something else. Spend an hour exercising. Get your mind off writing for a while. Exercise is particularly good for burnout. I know this, and yet I still rarely employ it. That’s because my burnout is usually concurrent with depression in which I don’t feel like doing anything, least of all exercising. Sometimes, you might be forced to take a whole day or two (in my case, with depression it sometimes involves a whole week) and do something else. In such instances, it helps to have a back-up hobby. For me I use puzzles and chess to break the monotany.
I hope that helps.
Just a reminder: Bewitching Blog Tours will be sponsoring a blog tour for myself and my book, “Drasmyr,” during the month of May. The tour will begin on May 7th and will last until June 5th. Below is the blog tour schedule. I’ll be posting links to the blog host of the day every day of the month. Also, make sure you check out the sponsor of the whole tour–Bewitching Blog Tours –it wouldn’t have been possible without them.
Blog Tour Schedule
May 7th promo : http://aobibliosphere.blogspot.com
May 8 Guest Blog : Fang-tastic Books : www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com
May 9 Guest Blog : The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom : www.creativelygreen.blogspot.com
May 21 review and promo : Books, Books, and More Books : http://dream-reader-dreamer2229.blogspot.com/
May 23rd review : http://aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/
May 27 Guest blog : Book Reviews, Fiction Reflections, N’ More : http://personalliterarybookfrenzy.blogspot.com
May 29 Guest Blog : Carly Fall – Where Fantasy Meets Romance : http://www.carlyfall.com/?p=1717
June 1 Interview and review : Just Another Rabid Reader: http://justanotherrabidreader.info
June 2 Interview and review : Nilsa’s book blog : Http://www.nilsa-rodriguez.blogspot.com
June 2 review : http://starrynightbookreviews.blogspot.com/
June 3 review and promo : Beverly @ The Wormhole : http://wormyhole.blogspot.com
June 4th Guest post : This Author’s Life : www.thisauthorslife.blogspot.com
June 5 Promo and review : Soliloquy : kaitlinmichelle.com
June 5 Guest blog : Read2Review : http://read2review.com
Thanks. And hope to see you on the tour!
I suppose I should dedicate at least one entry to my plans for this blog. As mentioned previously, it’s called “A Toast to Dragons” because, well, I like dragons. A lot. That said, I’m not going to blog just about dragons and nothing else. I am an author of fantasy stories. I have published a small number of short stories and am currently in the process of publishing my first novel… No, the novel isn’t about dragons; it’s about vampires and wizards and the epic struggle between them. Lots of blood, death and destruction. But no dragons… yet.
My intention is to use this blog to keep people up to date with respect to my literary endeavors. If I publish a short story, I’ll post a link here. When my novel is ready (which should be shortly), I’ll post a link here. I’ll also post information regarding the art of writing and publishing in the fantasy genre. Writing is hard work, and authors need as much help as they can get. Occasionally, I’ll post opinions on various literary subjects such as political correctness in writing, or the use of sex, profanity, or what have you. Finally, I read a lot and watch a lot of movies. I’ll review books and movies as I complete them–obviously focusing only on those that belong to the fantasy genre.
The plan is to post once a week or so. So, keep coming back. I’ll enjoy having you.