All writers dread one thing the most: writer’s block. It is the feeling that your fingers cannot type another character or the frustration that nothing is quite right, furiously clicking backspace over and over again until there is nothing but a blank page.
If writer’s block were a person, writer’s block would be a big, bulky man named Ron, a bouncer blocking your entrance into the critically acclaimed nightclub called “Epiphany.” Ron is tall, towering over most people much like a skyscraper. He is thin-lipped, probably because he holds so many secrets of the night club.
But we can’t keep waiting in line, ready to go in. We all have things to do, places to go. We all need tips and tricks to help bypass the wrath of Ron, the nightclub bouncer. Here are three tips to get entry:
- Create dialogue. Ron can’t keep up with who he should let in if you talk to him. Get him in the middle of something juicy, something his noisy ears can’t back out of. Ron is used to small talk, but an intense conversation will surely make him forget his duties of being a human wall, and he’ll just be another person to converse with. Like any person, Ron will waiver in his goal of getting people out from the nightclub, and conversation is just the key to unlock his wandering mind and distract him.
- Try describing what you see in the moment. Ron may not be keen on this at first, but you might end up pointing out a specific detail in the time and space he does not expect. Or even better, he may end up being intrigued by the entire description, nodding his head slowly in agreement with what you say. A softer side of Ron may show, and you might find yourself a new friend who will let you into the nightclub.
- Go to a different club. Ron might not budge at all, but there are many clubs out there, and Epiphany is not your only option. Try other clubs where their large bouncers may be nicer. Don’t feel stuck with, or limited to a single club because maybe it’s not even the best one for you. Clubbing doesn’t have to feel like a repetitive, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
Unlike an actual nightclub bouncer, writer’s block is something that doesn’t always have to stop you from writing. In the moment, it may seem the worst thing to ever fall on your writing shoulders. But a small change might just what you need for your brain to funnel creativity and imagination. Don’t feel tied to a single idea, topic, or piece. Writing is about having fun with it, not producing a specific thing.
Haley Cao is the lead prose editor with a speciality in writing Creative Nonfiction. She looks for a balance of meditation, scene, and exposition in her prose pieces with an emphasis on diction and syntax.