Recently I’ve been wrapped up with work. I am a Technical Support Engineer by day and fledgling Author by night, sort of. My actual title is different than Technical Support Engineer, but this is an apt description of what I do, from Smoke Testing to Defect Testing to providing customer support. While I love technology, it is not so much my passion as say … writing? Which is what brings me to my current feeling. I am frustrated as I have had this imp resting on my shoulder for a week now, I call this imp Mr. W.R. Itersblock.
I like many writers have met this fellow before and he is like an unwelcome houseguest that seems to think that he has every write (pun intended) to move in with you. I have found more often than not, he sits on your shoulder, or your head, and attempts to squash every singular thought related to writing, creative or no. So I have compiled some steps below for beating out the devil, so to speak.
1. Dark and Stormy Night
I often practice writing with a descriptive flair. This isn’t something I do to write a book, or a novella, most of the time it is a short story no more than a few thousand words. When W.R. Itersblock pays a visit, I go back to the Dark and Stormy night approach, I write as much descriptive prose as possible. First, this gets me writing (take that you little imp!), second it gets my creative thoughts flowing. A mind in motion … or something or another.
2. Prompt me, I dare you!
Sometimes W.R. Itersblock likes to hang around and even stifle your most basic ideas. So why not find some ideas elsewhere? Writing prompts are excellent tools for giving the devil his eviction notice. I find sometimes that a simple writing prompt might start out haltingly, but once you start writing, it sparks other ideas.
3. World Building
Some might not agree with this one as much, but I am a huge Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and table top role playing fan. This means I spend a lot of time writing character backgrounds and rolling dice, but it also affords me the opportunity to create a fantasy world to share with others. World building is as the heart of any good fiction story; whether it is small scale and solely driven by the character’s circumstance or it is George RR Martin’s Westeros. Once you have a world, you have to fill it with stories and this is where W.R. Itersblock finds he is unwelcome.
This one sort of goes with that writing prompt, but I do it often. I find a new word, find the synonyms for it and then I start trying to write a sentence that incorporates the word. If nothing else this gets my mind going and it sometimes sparks an idea.
5. The NIKE Approach
Yup, you got it, just do it! This is probably the hardest breaker of the block, but the simplest in application. Sometimes you just have to sit down and start writing, what a novel idea. Yes, that too was a pun. Sometimes as writers we forget that we’re not all about thinking up great ideas, but we have to write them down too. So take a moment, sit down, and just start writing. Write about your dog, write about that strange mole that just showed up on the back of your hand (didn’t know it so well did you!?), whatever you do, just do it!
I hope this helps anyone else struggling to evict Mr. W.R. Itersblock, in fact in just writing this short blog post, I think I signed that eviction notice. Hopefully you can too. Until next time.
Your friendly neighborhood author,