I have a bit of a love/hate relationship Twitter. I love the nuggets of information that pop up in my feed and the great connecting that takes place but I hate the way she sucks my valuable time when I could, and most likely should, be writing!
However, more often than not there are times when something piques my interest and the other day I came across a little blog post from Mac Logan. The thing that drew my attention were the words ‘Will this knock writer’s block?’
Writer’s block is the writers’ worst enemy. It feels as though your brain as been sucked of all useless information and then packed up and taken a vacation to the Bahamas. So for me, anything that can ignite a resurgence of creativity is worth a look.
Mac’s blog post, which you can read here, included a little task to help tackle the beast and reignite that creative spark inside. So I decided to give it a little try. Here is his suggestion:
“I’m going to open up the first spam or selling type of email I receive from the top of my email inbox. The task? Go five lines down and seven words in, then write 250 words based on the word I find, and complete the rough text in under half an hour.”
So loving a little bit of distraction I decided to give it a shot. Here’s what I came up with:
Her reaction had to be immediate.
There was no time to waste, no procrastination, no hesitation. She jumped in the car and headed for the freeway. The traffic seemed to be moving slower than usual as the sun was beginning to rise over the city in the east. The first rays hit the high rise windows with brilliance as the lurking smog became visible dull and lifeless above the skyline.
Her heart was racing and her hands gripped the steering wheel. She listened as her inner voice questioned as it always did in times like these. What if you’re too late? You’ve missed your chance? She slowly bit the inside of her cheek in frustration just like she used to as a child. She switched on the radio to drown the smug voices and smiled as they swirled down the drain pipe swallowed up by the raspy tones of Tom Petty.
The digital numerals on the dashboard ticked over in slow motion. Every minute disappearing forever gone soaked up by time; the one thing she couldn’t control. Her brow furrowed as she thought about the mistakes she had made that lead her to this point. ‘Put it down to learning’, her mother would have said. She rolled her eyes.
Finally the traffic began to move as she headed towards the on ramp. She could see the horizon before her. The shadows danced over the rolling hills and through the dense valley. Morning brought with it promise and a new perspective. If only she had realised sooner, but now was not the time for self defecating insults. She had to trust her instincts and follow her gut, for once she couldn’t be swayed by something as trivial as hindsight.
She settled into the leather seat, switched on the cruise control and drew a deep breath. It was going to be a long drive.
Certainly not a work of perfection, but what it did do was exactly what was intended. It got me thinking outside the box, somewhere different to where I had been trying to concentrate. It stirred the creative point in my brain that had become overshadowed by the writing I had been working on. I find that sometimes my writing can totally consume me, blanketing my thought processes. This was brilliant for opening up my brain and allowing the creative juices to once again collect and flow uninhibited. After completing the exercise I opened up my fiction and ended up writing over 1,000 words. True!
I really love this exercise and it is something that I am going to do on a regular basis to clear out the cobwebs and kick that writer’s block to the curb!
What’s your best advice for beating writer’s block?