Believe it. I'm like the dad on My Big Fat Greek Wedding, where he can bring anything back to the Greeks. I can link anything to a television show.
Okay, so Cesar Milan is an amazing person. He can take these ferocious, bad behaved dogs and within minutes, they're looking to him for what to do next. It's amazing. If you haven't seen the show, I highly recommend it.
Anyway, he talks a lot about energy. He says you can't teach or reason with a dog when they're in an excited state. You first have to get the animal to a calm, submissive state.
Well, human writers are like dogs. We can't write when we're freaking out about not being able to write. So we work ourselves into a frenzy, stewing about how we can't write, and we read/hear that we should...
This freaks us out even more. Our excited state is now a panic. [begin sarcastic font] Sounds like a great time to pen words. [end sarcasm]
Believe me, I've been in this holy-mother-of-great-Danes-if-I-don't-write-something-soon-I'll-never-get-out-of-this-writer's-block.
The panic is now hysteria. Not a good place to be.
Cesar would calm the animal first. He wouldn't even proceed without making the dog submit to him.
And how does he do it?
He remains calm. He is in charge. He projects his energy to the animal. Let me say it again. HE REMAINS CALM.
So in order to smash your writer's block to bits and pieces, you need to calm yourself.
DON'T write more.
DON'T force yourself to write.
DON'T power through.
(This is where I got in trouble at the school visit. I told them what I'm about to tell you, which was the complete opposite of what their teacher had said. Oops.)
Instead of writing in this super-hysterical state, you need to find your calm, submissive self.
Here's what I do:
- Clean my house.
- Do the dishes.
- Take a long shower.
- Play a video game.
- Watch TV.
I've always been able to then think of what I should write next. Sure, sometimes I have to maintain the mindlessness longer than other times. That's okay. And yes, you should always have a goal to come back to with your writing.
Because writer's write. But they also have to have time to think about what they're writing. Don't be afraid to take the time to think it through. Don't pressure yourself so much that you've got this huge stumbling block in your way.
Go play video games instead. Ha!
What do you think? How do you overcome writer's block? Aren't we just like badly behaved dogs when we work ourselves into a frenzy? I so think so.