Thursday, February 10, 2011

Writing Tip (7): Beat Writer's Block - Get Angry!

Beat Writer's Block - Get Angry!

a usually temporary condition in which a writer finds it impossible to proceed with the writing of a novel, play, or other work.

(Well, I certainly hope it's temporary!)

Me: There are probably many things you can do when the muse packs up and takes a vacation/refuses to cooperate/points at you and laughs and then runs away. You can stare at your blinking cursor for hours, you can go shopping, you can watch a movie for inspiration (I'm particularly fond of that one...), but sometimes what you need to do is just write something completely different for a little while.

You: Um... how? My muse has gone! Hello!

Me: Well, have you ever noticed that when you're angry/frustrated/irritated about something you have no problem finding the words to go on a rant? So pick up your pen/pencil/keyboard, find a clean sheet of paper/document, pick your favourite pet peeve, and get ready to rant!

Here. Watch me go...

Cigarette smoke and car fumes. I find these two things utterly repulsive. I can’t quite say why I seem to find cigarette smoke so much more offensive than the average person does, but I just do. It is positively choke-inducing. When I was five I told a smoker friend of my parents’ that smoking would kill him. And to this day I would be happy to tell anyone else that. If you’d like to fill your lungs with cancer-inducing vapours, by all means, go ahead. But please don’t do it where your bad habit can kill me too!*

Another thing that really irks me is people who get onto an escalator and stand in the middle without moving. European countries seem to have no problem with the “stand on the left, pass on the right” system, but in South Africa? Nope. An escalator is a chance for you to relax and take a breather because, after all, you’ve been walking so fast through the mall haven’t you? (You can probably tell that I’m also highly frustrated by people who wander around slowly and with no purpose and get in the way of everyone else.) Never mind that someone behind you might want to do something crazy like walk up the escalator. No way. You’ve got your spot in the middle of the step and you’re not. moving. for. anything. Come on, people! Time is precious. Let’s move with purpose!

Whew, ok, that felt good :-)
(*If you're a smoker, I don't hate you -- I just hate the smoke!)

You: *thinking* Hmm, yes, that guy who cut me off at the traffic light/the neighbour's kid who cries and cries and cries and cries/the girl at work who pops her chewing gum all the time/the way the paper on a new toilet roll is stuck down and I can't peel it off and it comes away in bits and then more bits and I'm tearing it now and aaaarrrrgh I just wanna chuck the whole damn thing in the toilet!

Me: Ok. That's great. Just don't get too ticked off please, I don't want to be responsible for your elevated blood pressure levels!

(Me: *ponders* I just had an entire conversation with myself, didn't I... And I mentioned the toilet paper...)


The Golden Eagle said...

Getting angry can help break writer's block; I definitely agree with that! :)

Ellie said...

I like this approach. Let me see...

People who don't put the shopping dividers on the checkout belt. People who you give a lift in your car and they don't automatically fasten their seatbelt. Hello? I don't want to be killed when you squash me in an emergency stop.

This is fun!

LV said...

Hehe. You are very right about always being able to rant (hey, I'm British. It's in my blood :P).

Writer's Block is awful, though. I get it when I'm under stress or when I'm feeling really demotivated.

Can I suggest looking for a new crit partner, somebody you'd really love to impress? This motivates me as much as getting angry :)

Margo Berendsen said...

Oh my, the toilet paper rant had me giggling! Don't worry about having an entire conversation with yourself, we are writers, we understand! I am visiting you from Rachael Harrie's new Crusader event.

Margo Berendsen said...

I knew your name sounded familiar! I was already a follower!

gideon 86 said...

Hi, Rachel,

Rant away.... It's not good to keep these things in.... lol Totally with you with the escalator thing. OR when people walk in the middle of a sidewalk...GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!


Anonymous said...

Oh, so you're angry writer blocked self hates when the toilet paper is stuck too, huh? :3 I've never encountered writers block as much as I can't write anything good block. But if I ever do, I'll make sure to read this again. ;)