I had a spell, some years ago, where I couldn’t translate any of my ideas on to paper.
They were falling over themselves in my head, I just couldn’t get them out.
I recently had an email exchange with someone who was suffering with a numbing case of writers block, so I thought I’d share the mechanism I have developed to help me ‘beat the block’.
- Choose a song. It has to be a song that you know really well. Not, necessarily, a well-known song, just one that you are familiar and comfortable with
- Find a quiet place to write, but a place that is not your usual venue. It should be warm, not too comfortable and should have no distractions: no visual scenes that could take your mind off the job; no internet (yes, I know how difficult that can be!); no telephone
- Set a limit. I recommend 500 words as the absolute maximum number of words for this exercise. I find that having a defined limit helps my thought processes and editing skills
- Plug yourself in to a pair of headphones, close your eyes and absorb your chosen song. Don’t just listen to it, push yourself in to the story, and…
- Write a piece of fiction that is clearly linked to (or even, a part of) that song. This must not be an obtuse reference. The relationship between the song and your piece has to be obvious to all readers.
And that’s it.
What you’re doing throughout the course of this exercise, is using the musical/lyrical framework set within the song as your storyboard template.
Yes, it’s a challenge, but because you’ve chosen the song, it’s a very enjoyable one.
Give it a go.
Let me know how it works for you.