While I love, love, love Melissa Karnaze’s Copyblogger post on how to make Writer’s Block a “Secret Weapon,” there’s like 5% 0f the time when what she describes as writer’s block isn’t quite what I experience.
Her premise: if you’re having trouble saying it, you probably aren’t all that clear on what you want to say.
But what if you know what you want to say, but you’re gooning up the emotion? What if you need a scalpel and your pen feels like a chainsaw?
Well, even though the following may not make any sense, it always works for me:
- Go visit PostSecret.
- Read through the secrets till you find 2–3 really juicy ones. Not juicy as in particularly lurid, but as in wince inducing. Your heart should go out to the person. Or there should be a “pucker factor” in reading their secret.
- Now that you have a few of those, pick one and start imagining the person who wrote it. Create a character, backstory, etc.
- Spend about 10 minutes writing the first several paragraphs or page of a short story that starts with the Post Secret statement and that centers around your character. Make sure to set a timer of some sort.
When the timer goes off you’ll be on the other side of the world from the emotional and mental state you started in. And the borrowed wings of your narrative will fly with you when you go back to writing your copy.
* Special thanks to Holly Buchanan for introducing me to Post Secret