We TeachingAuthors are in the middle of a round about Writers' Block.
Mary Ann writes about The Scariest Thing on Earth--Your W.I.P; Bobbi helped me understand the facts about writers' block in her post with the great title, Once Upon a Block-ness Monster; JoAnn feels better able to handle writers' block in her new writing chair; Carla says for her, writers' block comes in the form of too many ideas.
In this 2:45 minute video interview, author Neil Gaiman makes a distinction between writers' block and simply being stuck. And my fav children's literature ezine, Quercus, alerted me to Marion Dane Bauer's views on this topic.
For me, the two causes of writers' block are fear and perfectionism (who are most certainly twin brothers).
Fear and Perfection--twin brothers ~ from Morguefile.com by Maria Bavuso
So what do I DO when I'm blocked? Well...I could read the 22 rules of storytelling from Pixar. Chances are, one of those might unclog my blocked pipes.Note that I said that these might help. I haven't actually tried of them yet. But you should. You definitely should.
During one of those fear-filled times in my life, I told a friend I'd stopped writing completely. How, I asked her, do you begin again? She looked around. Then she shared her journal writing secret: write for just one minute each night. So I tried it. I mean, who couldn't write for one minute, for heaven's sake? It sounds so simple, but her secret did the trick. (I wrote about it here.)
Thank you, long-ago friend! This is the assignment in my UCLA Extension's Writers' Program courses:
Write a one-minute journal each day. Take just one (timed) minute to record the thing you most want to remember about today. It can be weighty—that your friend passed the bar exam, for example. But it could be that one moment—seeing the long slant of the sun on a skateboarder as she skated past.
|from morguefile.com by Domas|
I'm always frantic in the evening; I like to write my daily poem before Gary comes home. But tonight he came home and I had nothing.
I asked him if he had any ideas for a poem, for something that sticks...and as I said it, I saw an image of the things that stick to my clothes on a hike.
Sometimes the Universe is good to me. Well, most times, actually.
A POEM STICKS TO YOUR CLOTHES
by April Halprin Wayland
It's like something that clings to your shirt—
one of those blue sticky flowers,
or a foxtail.
At the end of the day,
you take off your jacket
and there it is,
soft like a real fox's tail,
It must be dealt with.
poem © 2016 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved
|sticky blue plumbago flower |
photo by April Halprin Wayland
Okay, Campers--now it's your turn. Attack a fresh page--with words and/or doodles--for one minute. You’ll be glad you did.
And thanks, Violet, for hosting PF today!