Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Stress-Free Writer

C'mon...who're we kidding. Any creative writing endeavor is a breeding ground for stress and anxiety. Trying to fill that blank screen (or page for you typists out there) is sometimes so overwhelmingly daunting that you're left sitting and staring, your jaw slacked open, fingers drumming the desk to summon the Great Spirit of Writing to send you a sign.

More commonly known as "writer's block", this condition (much like the hiccups) has many reported cures. Personally, a walk around the block in really cold weather does wonders, but in case you don't have access to a block or cold weather, try some of the exercises at Language Is A Virus. Here are a few choice nuggets:
  • Using phrases relating to one subject or idea, write about another, pushing metaphor and simile as far as you can. For example, use science terms to write about childhood or philosophic language to describe a shirt.
  • Systematically derange the language: write a work consisting only of prepositional phrases, or, add a gerund to every line of an already existing work.
There are a lot of other goodies there, including some online writer's block toys (cut-up and slice-n-dice generators) and some insight from some of the greats. (mostly the Beats; Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, et al)

Check it out and free your mind!