So often writers turn inward, leaving the world behind to lock themselves inside an office, basement or writers cave with their laptop and gallons of coffee. Although this is great when you are on a creative roll, this can also keep one from much-needed stimulation. So, when a writer comes to a point where they can no longer continue (and this has

happened to the best of us) they basically begin the writer’s block free-fall  without any supportive net.

Usually these articles discuss coming out of a rut; suggestive pieces that will inspire those who can’t seem to step away from the block. But in this installment, I want to discuss prevention. And one way a writer can stave off that dreaded crash is by picking their head up and interacting with the surrounding world. I know the fear is that if you stop, you won’t be able to start again, but that truly isn’t the case. I mean you sleep… right? Well if you aren’t and you are pushing straight through, then you have more problems than I first imagined.

Write and write and write and rest. Take a run, eat lunch, take a shower and then go back to work. Great? Not so much. You need to do all those things and then treat yourself to real tangible stimulus. Something that makes you happy and sets you up for success. For instance, go to lunch like you usually do, but this time call up a friend and meet at a busy cafe. This does two things, it clears your head of all that jumbled up nonsense that accompanies greatness and it provides you with more fodder for your characters. Think of it as a way to connect with your readers, your world and your support system. Talk and talk a lot. Discuss what you are working on, because nothing inspires the mind more than bouncing ideas off of others. Listen to anecdotes from people over cocktails and find inspiration for a character you don’t really have faith in. Let loose and go to that theme park. Let go of your insecurities, your worry and live – if even for a moment.

The result will be refreshed ideas and forward thinking. It also helps you build your skills as a human being, because one of the downsides to writing is it is lonely.

Now get out there and write, take a shower, call a friend, meet for drinks in a public setting, go home, sleep, then repeat. Trust me, you’ll love it and your friends will too.

Sara O'Connor
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