Today I bring you a fab little vimeo, a mash up of various films showing writers in difficulty. It’s by Ivan Kander and Ben Watts.
Tap tap tap on the keyboard the writers go. Pace, pace around the room. Waste bin filling up, filling up …
So that made you feel better right? Nothing like seeing other people having trouble getting started – well sometimes. But how good is it that they overcame the impasse and eventually wrote? A lot. Fast. So fast.
Just as we all do. Eventually.
If you want to help yourself out of a writing impasse then you could do what the vimeo writers did. Or you could try:
(1) writing to get unstuck – using prompts to help you approach the task sideways
(2) using powerpoint slides to sketch out a basic plan of what you want to write, before you actually start on that vexatious first draft
(3) talking things out first with an amenable consenting adult
(4) just doing some more focused writing for thinking.
Often, it is just a matter of not giving up, as the vimeo mashup so clearly demonstrates.
But it’s very helpful to understand that these are probably just temporary blockages – everyone gets a bit stuck on some things, and that includes me. This is not the same as a more persistent writer’s block.
Real writer’s block is a comparative rarity. But most people do have times when it’s hard to get going. A real writer’s block may require specific corrective strategies from a professional. But some people do have something in between – see this post which includes Robert Boice’s four step plan developed, as a desensitisation technique, for those who have more serious “can’t write” issues.
For the rest of us, it’s finding our way through the temporary halt.