Friday, March 21, 2008

Overcoming Writer's Block - Or The Importance of Getting Enough Mental Fiber

I have to admit that I've been a little bit blocked recently. This project I'm working on is almost done. In fact, out of a 70,000 word manuscript, yesterday I was facing down 6,000 words remaining, which in writing terms is just a short jaunt, and having a hard time coming up with anything to say. And I hate it when that happens. One little detail comes along, confounds me, and leaves me lost for words sometimes for days. Given the fact that I'm doing this for a living now and I have four projects lined up after this, I really don't have time for it.

So to find a solution, I resorted to some fairly extreme measures. First, I took the kids to the park. Sure, it was very cold yesterday, but they've been bugging me about this for a while and they were all bundled up, so it was fine. While there, I noticed too late that someone had lined up two of those table/bench combo things and put them right at the entrance of the gazebo, so of course the kids had to go running up into the gazebo by way of the table/bench things. It's a wonder nobody has broken their neck on that. We got back and it took a while for my ears to warm back up, but that did nothing for my writers block.

Next I turned to more distraction, namely playing on our new Wii. I bowled a near perfect game in Wii sports, which was pretty cool. I also watched my oldest daughter bowl a pretty good game using my Mii, and then I solidly trounced my wife when we played against one another. Still blocked up.

Finally, when faced with a day completely devoid of production, I resorted to my secret weapon. I grabbed my MP3 player and listened to Def Leppard's Hysteria album. Now their tour back in 1986 supporting this album was the first concert I went to, and many of the songs on that album are fun, but I would hardly call them a masterful group unless your idea of masterful are the glam rock bands of the '70s and '80s, but they are fun. Check your brain at the door, don't expect anything too challenging musically, just sit back and enjoy the ride. I mean who could forget such memorable songs as Don't Shoot Shotgun, Pour Some Sugar On Me, and Excitable? On the other hand, for me it serves as pure mental fiber and usually gets my mental juices flowing. Sure, it may be killing off a quarter of my brain cells in one shot, but it works! However, like so many other big guns, I try to keep it in reserve. Using it too much could result in an unwanted addiction and it could stop working altogether. At any rate, I managed to get 2,000 words onto the page for the day, which is what I was hoping for.

Four thousand words left until the finish line. Almost there! I should hit the mark and get everything turned in tomorrow.

1 comment:

RPB said...

Darrin, that album is one of my favourites. Def Lep's music is a great way to "unhinge." Bon Jovi helps my mind relax too.