Friday, July 03, 2009

Breaking Writer’s Block, Part 11: Think Different

A tried and true method of generating writing energy is to do something you’ve never done before and then write about it. It could be striking up a conversation with your newspaper vendor, who has never before exchanged more than two words with you. It could be walking down the block to study details about the houses in your neighborhood. Or you could stop by a rarely-visited museum; go to a ballgame in a local playing field; take a class at an adult school; call a long-lost friend or relative; paint a cubbyhole, canvas, or car; learn the lyrics of a song and sing them; or try your hand at a new skill, like knitting, pottery, a musical instrument, or a foreign language. Notice what makes the experience unique for you. How does the experience make you feel? What skill, sensitivity, or awareness is the experience awakening in you? Take notes of the smallest details to ensure you don't forget them.

At best, you might learn something new, break an old, bad habit, create a new, better one, or invigorate a part of your brain that could use the exercise. If nothing else, you’ll emerge from this experience by returning to your writing desk with plenty to write about.

Here are links to books on writing by Philip Vassallo: