Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cat Got Your Tongue? Part 2

Have you ever had writer’s block? Because I have… and eating an entire bag of jelly beans in an hours’ time does not kick start that engine.

When I was in middle school, there seemed to be a limitless supply of ideas to put to paper. There were girls who wanted to be knights in kingdoms, fairies at royal balls, a murderer photographer, and a few short stories that I’d rather never speak about again. When I wanted to put pen to paper, there was always an idea to pull from. I was filled with an enthusiasm that has considerably ebbed over the years.

When I was in high school, it was a bit harder; I reined my imagination in a bit. I had to be realistic, grades needed to be accounted for, my friends were getting their driving permits, everyone was talking about college, I was worried about fitting in, and weekends with friends weren’t spent playing dress up and pretending to be chased by dragons, they were filled with trips to the mall, or chats about guys. I used my imagination to escape into the worlds of my favorite books instead of creating those worlds.

In my first 2 years of college I stopped reading and writing altogether unless it was for school work. I was frustrated with professors, my 18-credit schedule had me stressed, and any free time was spent asleep. Responsibilities started to build and I decided I had no free time to “play” with writing, and reading for enjoyment was out of the question.

Wouldn’t it be great to tap into that treasure chest of childhood where the imagination is limitless? I always had ideas to pull from because I didn’t have expectations about THE ULTIMATE NOVEL. I wasn’t trying to be perfect then, I wasn’t trying to fit an ideal. I find that when I write now I make a mold before I begin writing and try and fill it with rocks. I’ll never fill it perfectly. Although I do know some writers who plan an extensive outline and follow it step by step; I also know some writers who free-write and watch an idea unfold. I do neither of these successfully.

I’d like to get back to the time when ideas were limitless because I wasn’t choosey; I wasn’t searching for a specific idea. I was writing down the worlds I wanted to escape to, ideas that were simply there because I wasn’t searching for them. How do you deal with writer’s block?

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