Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of avoiding writer’s block, is brought to you by a new guest to this blog, heroic fantasy author Andean White. I know you’ll make him feel welcome. 🙂
Getting in the Zone – One Good Method
As writers, we love the euphoria when the story is streaming from the mind like a movie rental download. The right words appear on the screen (or paper), and the story telling is perfect. It’s a truly wonderful feeling to be in the zone—confident, consistent, clever, and capable.
At the other end of the spectrum is writer’s block—distracted, doubtful, discouraged, and daring the screen to sprout an idea.
This blog lists several similar methods for training the mind to find the zone more frequently.
At the start of a new job, athletic club, church, etc. it takes time to remember all the peoples’ names and special procedures. After a while the names just pop into your head. It’s the repetition—the mind has trained itself to make an instant connection between the face and the name.
Scientific experiments have proven that the mind can be trained. This suggests that repeatedly challenging the mind expands its capability. A few of us just need more repetitions.
There are booklets, iPad apps, and Internet sites dedicated to helping writer’s improve their creativity. Generally they work quite well—some by giving the writer an odd combination of unrelated stuff—for example: helicopter, elephant, and alarm clock. The challenge is to use the three items in a story of 1,000 words or less. Finding a way to link three randomly selected items is difficult at first, but becomes easier with practice.
Below is a list of other training systems.
- The website creativethinkingwith.com has three different exercises. The first one compares two items to find all the ways they can be combined.
- Micheal Michalko, internationally acclaimed creative thinking expert, has several books out; Thinkertoys, ThinkPak, and Cracking Creativity.
- Melissa Donovan, 101 Creative Writing Exercises. Her website is writingforward.com
- Searching with creative thinking for writers will produce many other options.
Provided here (below) is a story from Kathryn Elizabeth Jones of Idea Creations Press. It’s her having some fun with the helicopter, elephant, and alarm clock exercise. (Her response came about 20 minutes after an email inquiry). Continue reading