I’ve been struggling recently to write a nice shiny post to ring in the new year. My thinking was that I’d collect my December sarcasm quota and create one post which I would post in January. I mean, I knew something inevitably would come across my path and grow into a mind-blowing idea.
Well, I was wrong.. 3 weeks of no posting and still no ideas.
So now, I am under pressure to author a beautiful New Year’s post AND to make up for my 3 weeks absence. Great. I thought about doing “my 12 resolutions for 2012” or something generic like that, just so that I’d get that inaugural post out of the way, you know? But I somehow managed to subconsciously equate that with selling out.
Heylookchris, I guess I’ve got writer’s block. No it’s worse than that, it’s like a giant block. It’s like a wall. It’s writer’s wall (Trademark pending, you heard it here first).
It’s quite the epidemic, I mean, no one ever gets talker’s wall. Well, I don’t think anyone does.. I can’t recall anybody telling me that they just woke up one day and discovered they had nothing to say and just sat there in progressively more frustrating silence for 3 weeks. I take that back, I do have one friend, but he became a monk (how cool is it that I have a friend who joined the monastery?!).
Especially right when the semester is winding down, or that submission deadline is looming, we just sit there, just waiting for inspiration to strike. Just biding our time until the environment is right, when the time is right.
Now that I’ve coined the term, I need to invent a technique to battering-ram through the writer’s wall. Well, lucky for you, my reader, I have come up with a pretty good technique!
In order to solve the problem of writer’s wall, we need to understand the real issue. I truly believe that the reason we don’t get talker’s wall is because talk is cheap. There are plenty of songs about it. Don’t believe that idiom? Think about it, people will blab on and on about the most senseless things. Talking’s easy, and it won’t come back to bite you in the butt. Unless you’re being recorded on an FBI phone call. And if you find yourself in that situation, you probably have bigger problems.
But once you put it into writing, I think we just have this preconceived notion that it’s permanent. And it was true back in the day when they didn’t have a “delete” key, heck they didn’t have erasers – they just had a quill pen (and if they were cool, a monocle).
Whether or not you’re willing to admit it, we (frequently) talk poorly and as we continue discourse, we hopefully begin to talk good-er (my grammar = prime example) about it. We begin to hone our subject matter because we have something to build on. But in talking, that “something” has been presented in its aural medium.
So, the fix? Keep talking. But use your keyboard. A lot. Write down anything. Just get your ideas down. Then pick the winning ideas and prune away the bad stuff. Typically you’ll get one decent idea in the beginning ramble, but the really good stuff comes at the end as you build upon your own reasoning and your developing internal discourse. Keep in mind that for this strategy to overcome writer’s wall, you need to start somewhere.
Maybe you stumbled upon this blog post in desperation. Your deadline is rapidly approaching. Here’s my advice: take 20 minutes and just write anything – stream of consciousness – that comes to your mind. And I mean everything! But here’s the catch, you do not use your delete key. Use all 20 minutes. You’d be surprised to see the ideas which are just waiting to blossom into something beautiful.
What do you have to lose? Seriously, you’ve wasted more than 20 minutes procrastinating on Facebook and if you’ve stumbled across this blog post, you’ve definitely had way too much time on Google. Good luck!
PS. If you want to take this strategy to the extreme, add alcohol.
November is National Novel Writer’s Month