Inspiration is an elusive beast

May 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm Leave a comment

Some of you may have noticed (though maybe not) that I didn’t post anything last week.

In my defence, I was planning on posting mid-way through the week for my six monthiversary – until I realised I had miscounted, and my six monthiversary isn’t until next month. Maths was never my strong point, but that’s bad even for me!

Still, there has been another reason for my silence over the past couple of weeks, and that has been a very simple case of writer’s block.

It’s not that I’ve run out of ideas – I have several stories that I am working on or developing at any given time – but rather just a lack of inspiration or energy or motivation to actually put the words down on the page in something resembling order.

I often find it does take a little time after the longer stories for me to get my groove back, and An Odd Pair did take quite a bit of focus over the past few weeks. That, combined with an onslaught of deadlines at my day job, meant I’ve been coming home feeling drained, and while I’ve tried to keep on keeping on I haven’t quite gotten anything finished yet.

So this week I thought I would explore mental blocks a little.

Mental blocks can come in many forms. Sometimes you simply have so many ideas or so much that you want to achieve that you just don’t know where to begin. Having too many ideas can be just as debilitating as having no ideas.

A friend of mine, Australian horror writer Justin Cawthorne, covered this topic on his blog a couple of months ago with his post Beating the blank page. Justin had some great advice in his blog, but to cover the basic gist it all comes down to just starting.

It may sound simplistic, but sometimes you do just have to push past the mental block and force yourself to do something, anything, towards meeting your goal – whether it’s writing a story, cleaning a room, finishing a project for work or anything else you might be putting off doing. Often, once you push past that first bit things will start to flow a lot more freely.

But what do you do when you just run out of inspiration? No really, I’m asking!

When it happens to me I’ve learned that no amount of pushing can help me to come up with something I don’t feel ready for. Often it comes upon me when I’ve been under pressure or had a lot on, and so all I really need is to give myself a break and accept that I’m not always going to be able to do everything – something that’s taken me most of my 24 years to accept!

So instead of trying to force myself to finish a story that just isn’t working for me right now, I decided to give myself a break and write a new author’s blog instead. Hopefully things will click soon and I’ll be able to finish a new story, but for now it’s enough for me to keep posting, just to keep myself in the routine.

What are your methods of dealing with mental blocks in all their forms?

xx Chrissie

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Entry filed under: Author's Notebook, Blog.

I can’t write sad stories You quack me up!

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