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Downtown office space / Office Space

Writer’s Block – How do you deal with it?

Today was one of those days that I just could not find anything to write about. When I did get a nibble of an idea, I could only write a line or two. So I tried my usual source of inspiration “The News”. All of the local news was about a chemical spill in the east end, a shooting in the west end, the flood that closed the subway down during the morning commute and Stephen Harper’s decision to stop the Australian takeover of a Saskatchewan’s Potash Corp. None of those stories were of worthy of a full blog, so I continued to search for ideas.

I finally decided to take this writer’s block head on, so I Googled it! The first link that came up in Google was a Wikipedia entry.  According to Wikipedia “writer’s block is  is a condition, associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand.” Sound like a simple explanation, but it does not help me write my blog. Now What?

I clicked back to the Google results and the second link was Writer’s Block – The Web Resource for Communication Professionals Hmm this sounds like a great place to get some tips on writer’s block…nope. It turns out that it is an online magazine full of articles that would take me hours to pour through and still be in the same place. Well, there was an article that interested me there about Author photos, but that is more of an interest for my photography side of things.

I did not want to get distracted, so it was back to the Google results. There was WritersBlock.com, you would think they should be able to help…nope. This was a scam, it was one of those fake sites full of ads and at the bottom left of the page it says “Buy this Domain”.

The next Google result was an article on 43folders.com called Hack your way out of writer’s block. While the article was 6 years old the tips sounded good. Some of the tips were

Talk to a monkey – Explain what you’re really trying to say to a stuffed animal or cardboard cutout.

Take a walk – Get out of your writing brain for 10 minutes. Think about bunnies. Breathe.

Get away from the computer; Write someplace new – If you’ve been staring at the screen and nothing is happening, walk away. Shut down the computer. Take one pen and one notebook, and go somewhere new.

Quit beating yourself up – You can’t create when you feel ass-whipped. Stop visualizing catastrophes, and focus on positive outcomes.

Unplug the router – Metafilter and Boing Boing aren’t helping you right now. Turn off the Interweb and close every application you don’t need.

Write five words – Literally. Put five completley random words on a piece of paper. Write five more words. Try a sentence. Could be about anything. A block ends when you start making words on a page.

Eureka … that is what I will write about … Writer’s Block

  • I started to find more tips like on other sites, tips like:
  • Going through old bookmarks and see why you marked it.
  • Pick up a newspaper or magazine and get away from the digital world
  • Look back through the comments to blogs or postings others have made.
  • Go onto twitter and see what is trending, read some tweets and get inspired.

I realize now that I should have gone into my office space Toronto today instead of working from home. When I go to my downtown Toronto office space, it is not so much what I do when I am there, but the experience of going there that can inspire me. Sometimes when I look out the window with a view to the Toronto Harbour and Queens Quay Blvd. I see things from a different perspective (like watching people park that have no clue what they are doing).

Good luck with your writer’s block, I hope I was able to help or at least amuse you for a little bit.

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