Writing Tips

The Subtle Act Of Clearing Your Mind

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— A guide to preventing “The Block”

I know first hand, that a lot of us writers have moments where we go through Writer’s Block.

Now, A block has many definitions, but my personal definition of a block is, a situation whereby a writer is hindered from creating sentences that would help relay there ideas into stories to be read.

Sometimes, even when we know our characters, outlined the entire plot and predicted plot twists we still end up sitting before the computer, phone — or whatever device or stationary we write with — blank.

As a writer, you work with your mind, because you imagine and think up ideas with your mind. Most fiction writers conjure their stories from mere imaginations without even drawing inspiration from the actual world. So, When one has The Block, one notices that one cannot think up a sentence to forge on to the next part of their work.

This is largely because the human brain, our brains, have been put through a lot, so, it hinders you from creating by slowing down a bit, when overworked, it slows down, as though it’s taking a break, but it doesn’t fully stop functioning.

As human beings, we have a lot of things happening around us, things that we need to do, duties that call us. All these actions are being controlled by one thing, the mind.

These are few tips I’ve come up with on how we can prevent the block.

•ONE — A lot of us choose to write when we have returned from a day’s work — be it school, work, chores, anything — We forget, that everything that goes on in the human body is being generated from the mind. So, if you return tired, stressed, overwhelmed, there is no way you would be able to create a sentence to further your story. Even if you do, at that state, you would eventually break down in the near future. So, my fellow writers, do not try to force your brain to work when physically, you are very exhausted. If it doesn’t affect you then, it is bound to affect you later, both health wise and writing wise.

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•TWO — Most of us, haven created and outlined every single scene in our work and built our characters, we tend to want to rush the story, finish up just in time. Yes, you have everything ready, you have everything set, but do not rush yourself. Rushing yourself, rushing your brain to think up the next scene, act it out, create it and then lay it out in words creates overlapping, you overstress the brain, forcing it to think, to create, to work, all in a short period of time. Do not do this, if you are not on any deadline, do not rush your work, do not rush the brain to think, you may exceed its capability, thereby, affecting it.

•THREE — A lot of us have formed the habit of creating ideas in our head and not jotting them down. Most times, I think up the climax of my story before thinking up everyother part of it. It could be a scene between the villain and the protagonist or, a scene where the protagonist makes a self discovery, a scene leading to the end of the story. You know what I do? I go ahead to write it out, with descriptions, dialogues, narrations, everything. This could be the first part I’ve written in that story. After writing it down, I feel free, I feel that I have released a certain scene, so it gives space for more to come in.

Same goes for the general outline of the story. Most of us think that by leaving it in our heads, it is safe. Not true, at times it gets jumbled up, and overlapped, this is one of the reasons why The Block meanders its way into your mind. Thinking of so many things at once creates The block. You get blocked out. So, as a writer, learn to jot down your thoughts, your ideas, learn to put down your thoughts on paper, ink, or technology. Learn to release some ideas so others can come in. This would prevent The Block.

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•Four — always believe that you can write out whatever idea it is that you have. Most of us spend time over thinking, trying to visualize in our heads whether or not the story would be well received by people. You are mentally disturbing yourself. Put your ideas down and show it to world, let them decide whether it is good or bad.

I hope that these few tips are able to enable you prevent having Writer’s Block.

Best Wishes,
Chiziterem Chijioke.

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