By Ron Cooper
The Word Doctor
Anybody who puts pen to paper suffers from it. It is frustrating and humbling. And it can halt a writing project dead in its tracks.
But writer’s block need not be a fatal disease. Don’t panic. It’s your brain freezing up. Using a few “thawing” techniques, in no time you’ll be happily back at the keyboard again composing your letter, speech, article or book.
1. Take a well-deserved breather. Go for a walk. Listen to soothing music (Mozart works for me). Check your Facebook page. Watch an episode of “I Love Lucy” on cable, or a scene from your favorite Marx Brothers movie; comedy is good for brain-thawing!
2. Venture into the quietest space in your office with a small note pad or tape recorder. Or visit a nearby park where Mother Nature will serve as your muse. Chances are, your writing project can be jump-started with a new outline. Jot down the key words or messages of your piece, and then move them around where they’ll fit snugly.
3. Writer’s block may pop up because we’re overwhelmed with the enormity of the project. Break up the project into bite-sized chunks. You could set deadlines to complete 200 words the first hour, 300 the next hour, etc. That will keep it flowing.
4. Switch off the lights and head home for the day. Leave the disarray behind, if only for overnight. Even when it’s out of sight, your writing project is not out of mind. Your brain will be turning over a new phrase, thinking of a new angle or rewriting the lead or ending. Have that notebook or tape recorder handy. Then tackle the piece, red pencil in hand, with a fresh cup of coffee the next morning.
Feel better now? Let’s get back to writing again, with renewed energy and fresh purpose. Works every time!