Practice Exercises to Overcome Writer's
1. On an index card write
“For my eyes only.” Post within eyesight of where you are writing – above your
computer, inside the covers of your notebooks, in the spaces where you keep your
writing materials. Writer’s block is often because you forget that you don’t
have to share anything if or until you’re ready.
2. At the top of a piece of
paper write the words “What is the worst that could happen if I write this?”
Then brainstorm with yourself about what could happen. In history and in places
where there is not freedom of speech, people have been jailed or executed for
writing something critical of the powers that be. So that’s the WORST that
could happen. Put that at the top of your list -- DEATH. Then cross it off. Not
likely. Now keep writing your list of the “worsts” and ask yourself if you
could endure this. For example, you may say that writing whatever you want will
reveal too much of your true thoughts. Go back to exercise No. 1 to find the
remedy for that fear.
3. Examine why you are not
writing. Are you trying to be too perfect with your first drafts? Are you not
as interested in this topic as you thought you would be? Could the timing for
this piece not be right? Are you fearing how others will react? Is there
something fundamentally wrong (for you) with what you’re writing? What is it?
Should you give yourself permission to abandon it or put it aside and come back
later? Try to be as specific as you can with your reasons. Then think about and
ask others to help you find solutions for the stumbling blocks that are
preventing you from writing.
4. Set a timer for a
specified amount of time, such as five to ten minutes. At the top of the paper,
write a word that represents a subject that interests you. Then write about
this subject until the timer rings. Do not take your pen or pencil off the
paper or your fingers off the keyboard. Keep writing even if you’re only
writing your name over and over. If you’re still writing when the timer rings,
keep going. This will start to train your subconscious mind to write -- no
5. Get a set of crayons.
Seriously. Pick out your favorite colors and draw anything with them, realistic
or abstract. Really enjoy the colors. Then, looking at what you’ve drawn, start
writing colors. Write about the reds, the oranges, the blue-greens, the blacks,
etc. in your life and the lives of others. Write about characters and their
personalities in terms of the colors on your paper.
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