Writers Block Be Gone!

Writer’s Block: Don’t name it, Reframe it!

Instead of thinking of yourself facing a blank beige wall, unable to move forward, step back, or side to side, think of yourself taking elements of the writing project as if they are blocks, building blocks.

The next time you face a blank page, think beyond the white rectangle on the screen in front of you to the words you will type onto the space. Type nouns or verbs—leave the adjectives until later, and omit all adverbs for now.

Good verbs contain their own modifier, so adverbs are rarely necessary. The words “walk”, “crawl”, “run”, “dash”, “roll”, or “stumble” express movement from one place to another. Each expresses the quality of the motion Nouns have varying degrees of specificity, so use the most economical noun for your building block. For instance, the word “horse” covers a wide range of equine animals. Use “Arabian”, “Thoroughbred”, “Percheron”, “Shetland”, instead.

When I was growing up, before digital entertainment on road trips, there were travel books with missing words on each page representing a story. The reader would call out “noun”, “verb”, “adjective”, or more specifically “color”, and fill in the blanks. One book lasted for the longest trips, because the variations in heroes, villains, places, actions, or qualities were endless.

My initial answer on the FAQ Page is the fastest and simplest solution. If inside, go outside. If writing fiction, check out the news, factoids, or documentary subject matter. If writing fact, switch to music, colors, anything visual, abstract, or imaginary. When all else fails, clean the litter box, pick up the dog poop, change a diaper, or join me in the barn with a shovel and a sense of humor.

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