It’s the arch-enemy of anyone who has ever tried to compose an essay, a blog post, a research paper, an e-mail, a journal entry, an epic song, or even a simple tweet.
It’s that moment when creative juices seem to freeze in place. When brain cells scream out in agony because neurons and synapses won’t connect anymore. It’s the instant when the ink in the mental pen has ceased to flow. When the typewriter of the mind has jammed. When power seems to have failed, and the hard drive that is your brain simply crashes.
Yep. Writer’s block.
While I’m clearly not a professional wordsmith, writer’s block is a topic I know all too well.
And yes… it just struck right as I was composing this. Like a NASCAR driver, the flow of words that was appearing here on my WordPress screen just hit the wall.
So let’s re-phrase the title. I can’t help you overcome it.
Just cope with it a bit.
The trick to COPING with writer’s block?
It may sound simplistic, but keep a list of questions handy.
It’s especially applicable if you’re journaling… when your writing can be completely free-form, and there’s not necessarily a real end goal except to open a port in your head to vent the myriad thoughts colliding with one another.
Here’s a few starters that I’ve developed recently for my own use:
- What stories can I tell about my experiences from today?
- What insight from today would I want to remember years from now?
- What emotion did I feel most strongly today?
- Who did I meet today?
- What hopes am I carrying for tomorrow?
- What media influenced me most yesterday?
- What kind of impact did I have on someone else today?
- What concerns are on my mind tonight?
- Who am I carrying burdens for, and what can I do about them?
- What situations or circumstances do I really need wisdom to address?
- How can I be in prayer for someone tonight?
- What have I read recently that made me think?
- What is going on in the world that causes me to have a strong opinions?
- What is the biggest thing I want to do over the next week?
- What goals do I have for the coming year?
The same kind of exercise can also be helpful for other kinds of writing.
Call it brainstorming. Prompting. Priming the pump. Whatever word or phrase fits.
Good questions can serve as DRANO for the clogged mind.
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