I thought that once the film premiered, my creative juices would be flowing like an unbridled river out of every pore in my body.
Boy, was I wrong.
Since the film premiered over nineteen days ago, I’ve felt creatively adrift. Lost in a sea of cerebral noise.
Not only have I had difficulty constructing coherent sentences, the creative gauge has been running on fumes. For the first time in a great while I’ve had absolutely no interest in writing. I barely know what I’m feeling right now, so the ability to express thought, emotion and inspiration into words seems impossible. All the ideas and characters that playfully swim through my head have been snuffed by anxiety and fear. Though I try not to let it, reading the occasional “mixed review” of our film sends me into a spiral of self-doubt. I’d like to think I’m able to handle criticism, but it’s never easy.
Instead of enjoying a creative milestone that I never would have imagined achievable, I’ve been a cantankerous curmudgeon incapable of relaxing and taking in the moment. I’ve been plagued with worries of what the next step is.
The truth is, I have no clue what the next step is and because of that, I feel completely paralyzed.
I’ve never planned, just ran hard towards a large obelisk on the horizon that contained fanciful goals of a little girl who loved film and literature. I tackled the behemoth this year and have started chipping away, rediscovering past dreams and hopes. I can’t let the adult me get in my way.
As I’ve struggled to get my mojo back, many of you were sweet enough to share your tips on overcoming writer’s block on my Facebook and Twitter pages. I’d like to share some of those tips with you here. What do you do to overcome writer’s block?
: “Live life and it just happens. Also watch your favorite movies or TV shows
And along the same lines, Kristina Carpenter stated: “Watching movies about writers inspires me: Sylvia, Midnight in Paris, and oddly enough The Devil Wears Prada.“
Both Mike G
and Ben Griffin suggested exterior influences such as “bourbon
” and “mind-altering substances
Holly Noble said: “Write about the writer’s block. Explore the feelings and emotions that are keeping you from expressing yourself and write the first nonsense that comes to your head. Just opening up the channel is enough. You don’t have to write anything good…that’s too much pressure.”
George Nicula said: “Have more experiences, they are the tree from which the fruit you seek grows.“
Benjamin Schuman: “I’m not a real writer but… I either do object writing, where I write about something from the perspective of all the senses, or I free write by writing one word and then continuing about it while imagining being on acid.“
Matt Conlon said: “Stream of consciousness. Write about exactly what you think, and go off on tangents. I have written some of my more enjoyable (I think anyway) posts that way.“
Lauren Hutton said: “Read more. Imitate what strikes your fancy.“
made the interesting suggestion of “Grab a book/screenplay (whichever you’re writing) that inspires you. Begin to copy it out verbatim. It may take a few pages of this, but soon you’ll become inspired to start changing the text the way you see fit. Keep this up until your juices are flowing, then discard the work, and start back on your own work.
suggested: “Read the War of Art by Steven Pressfield That book is basically all about that. So inspiring, and short.
said: “Change of venue helps me sometimes. Or a lethal dose of caffeine. Or just give yourself permission to take a day or two off
Aasim Syed left me a quote from Charles Bukowski, “Writing about writer’s block is better than not writing at all.“
Or maybe I just need a friggin’ vacation.
Lauren is a writer and professional Jeff Goldblum lover.
I visit websites that annoy the shit out of me, but still pertain to my interests. Beer Advocate is the primary example that receives my total ire. After reading the garbage that quarter-wits write on there, i make writers block my whore.
HA! That is a great strategy! Thanks!
I step away, but not too far away, because once I get involved in something else, the words will likely start flowing into my brain. I was trying to write a recap of the half marathon I ran last weekend without being all “The hills were hard, the weather was good, this is really boring…” I stepped away, started serving the kids a snack, and all of the sudden I had the words in my head that I really wanted to say about the race. I really need to use an audio recorder for those moments. I do my best writing in my head while driving or washing dishes.
Thanks for compiling our quotes together, I like that!
Also reminded me to follow my own advice!
That is all such good advice! I always find I have to just scribble down total garbage, and then from that try and pull out something that sounds good.
My first agent, an old-time, elderly lawyer with a long history in publishing from Edna Ferber on, told me that an author writes a book when they feel that it must be written. Good advice.
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