We all experience it – the scary time – when the page or the screen is blank. The mind is blank. Nothing comes – is this the end, we secretly wonder? Is it the dreaded writer’s block? (If you want my honest opinion – never! writer’s block is just another figment of our imagination)
Will we, can we, write anything new, ever again?
The answer to this is a resounding YES! Writing is our job and if we keep at it then sooner or later something will give. If we show up we will find a toe-hold; the way into something new. The glimmer of an idea, a distant pathway.
But as well as showing up every day we need to make sure the well isn’t dry – we need days off too – I’m a great believer in days off, they’re good for the soul – so here are some ideas for going AWOL and feeding your writer’s soul.
Go on a Julia Cameron style ‘Artist’s Date,’ – romance yourself, spend the day somewhere inspiring, visit a gallery, an exhibition, go listen to music, see a film, haunt cafes, eat cake, sit in gardens – go with your notebook and just enjoy and observe.
Spend some money, if you’ve got any.
Read – read the books you love, the books that inspire you, the books you’ve been meaning to read- and don’t feel guilty. The reading will feed into your writing – lift words or lines as inspiration – steal from the best.
Read poetry – for the same reasons
Walk the dog – play around with ideas – let them float in and out of your head as you wander by the river or through the town.
Take a workshop – new ideas always crop up in workshops. There are plenty online if you can’t find any near you.
Listen to the radio – voices and stories will come at you from all sides.
Meet your writing buddy.
Begin to write anything . Don’t worry if it’s good – allow it to be bad, don’t think too much, don’t overload it with expectations.
If you’re already working on a story or novel – go to a minor character (or invent one) and let them speak – you may be surprised what they have to say….
How do you meet the blank page? What inspires you? I’d love to know.