Fear of "the Blank Page"?
|...illusive and always just lingering on the horizon...|
It’s a fear for all writerly-types, I guess. When you first decide you want to be a writer, it’s not really a problem. You have all the ideas in front of you, every note you’ve scribbled in your lunch hour, every tidbit of your narrative that you’ve thought about for so long and wanted to unleash onto your computer screen as you finally sit down to write your masterpiece. But what happens next? After that great tome is finally finished? After you’ve drafted and redrafted that great love of your life, once you’ve accomplished all you set out to do with that FIRST story? Are you going to be a one-hit-wonder or will you knuckle down and get on with the hard work of a second story, one which you haven’t necessarily poured so much time and tears into for the last however so long...?
This is a question that has been on my mind for the past year or so since finishing what I’m considering the final redraft (for now) of my first adventure novel. But as scribblers, don’t you find that you can procrastinate about anything given enough time and space to worry? So the worry of actually “catching” a bout of writer’s block can be destructive in itself… (It’s a kind of a fear of fear itself kind of thing!)
|Get in the habit of building bridges between bouts of writing|
|Change your setting for writing|
I guess the final thing I could add to all of the above is that I always find it useful to remind myself of more productive times – back on an adventurous trip to Japan in 2009, for instance, I had an explosion of scriptwriting to write a prequel to my multiple choice outer-space story... That's still a work in progress too but looking back, that sudden bout of creativity was perhaps achieved because I'd lifted myself out of my everyday surroundings and was plonked into a wildly different setting to allow my brainwaves to think a little differently to normal. Now that's not saying you have to travel as far as the land of the rising sun, but a change of scenery never did anyone any harm for whatever they're trying to change in their life, right?
This idea of looking back at when you've been creative in the past to spark a future infusion of creativity, is also where working on editing my original short stories for my forthcoming anthology comes in handy too. And speaking of which, next month, as a kind of “Part 2” to this post, there’ll be an exclusive story from that very collection…