Tactics to Defeat Writer’s Block

Tactics to Defeat Writer’s Block

Tactics to Defeat Writer’s Block

Posted on 05/10/2024 Evan Swensen
Tactics to Defeat Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is merely a temporary impasse that can be traversed with curiosity and a return to your literary roots.

Revisit your favorite reading pleasures. What genres whispered to your heartstrings in earlier days? Whether it was the narratives of family sagas, complexities of college romance novels, or the otherworldly allure of science fiction, these past favorites could serve as a blueprint for your next piece.

Did you gravitate toward family sagas spanning generations in your early reading days? Do you remember being enraptured by One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez? The mythical town of Macondo, with its rich tapestry of characters and intertwining destinies, was a playground for imagination. Why not reimagine a family saga through the vibrant lens of a teenager’s Young Adult experience? Picture a modern-day Pride and Prejudice, where the Bennet sisters navigate college life and social expectations while wrestling with dating apps, ambition, and the echo of familial pressures.

College romance novels may hold a particular allure for you. Normal People by Sally Rooney explores the intricacies of relationships with raw honesty. The protagonists, Marianne and Connell, grapple with their vulnerabilities and university life’s often complex social webs. There’s something universal about this coming-of-age struggle that could translate into a futuristic sci-fi setting. What if their emotional intricacies were amplified by virtual-reality technology or perhaps played out on a colonized Mars?

Science fiction may captivate heartstrings with its limitless possibilities. Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series remains a beacon of imaginative storytelling. In these pages, mathematical prediction and political intrigue intertwined to weave a universe in which human destiny was simultaneously calculated and uncertain. These narratives’ tension between fate and agency could inspire a contemporary twist. Imagine a spy novel that captures the essence of our technological zeitgeist—a hacker protagonist wielding algorithms like Asimov’s Hari Seldon wielded psychohistory.

But what if you’re still stuck despite revisiting those old favorites? When inspiration wanes, a game of literary lottery can break the spell of writer’s block. Jot down the titles of the last dozen books that left an impression on you on individual slips of paper. Place them in a hat, mix well, and let chance dictate the concoction of your next narrative. Pull out three titles and weave together elements from each to craft a synopsis.

Imagine if Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled detective, Marlowe, were to find himself in the opulent setting of The Great Gatsby, but with a twist—Daisy is no longer the golden girl but the enigmatic blond boy from Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. And to steep your story in even more intrigue, let it unfold in the shadowed corners of Berlin during the throes of World War II. This exercise isn’t merely about mixing narratives; it’s about stirring the pot of genres, characters, and eras until your unique story emerges from the depths.

Writer’s block often feels like an impenetrable wall, but it’s really just a fog obscuring the path ahead. Instead of focusing on the blockade, look for the glimmers of curiosity lighting the way forward. By revisiting past reading pleasures, blending genres, and embracing unconventional approaches, your next story is waiting beyond the veil of hesitation.

There’s something profoundly empowering about returning to your literary roots, revisiting the books that shaped you as a reader and, eventually, a writer. Not only does it reignite your love for storytelling, but it provides a roadmap back to the source of your creative spirit. After all, the ebb and flow of inspiration is like the natural rhythms of life—sometimes elusive, sometimes overflowing. The key lies in embracing your imagination’s varied, bold, and untrodden paths.

So, take that first step into the archives of your literary pleasures, let the pulse of current events inspire a contemporary twist on classic genres, and don’t shy away from playing the literary lottery to stir the creative pot. Writer’s block may loom large, but your passion for storytelling is stronger, and with it, you can transform any fog of uncertainty into the bright dawn of new narratives.

Evan Swensen
8370 Eleusis Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99502
(907) 349-2424

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