Yesterday, I mentioned writers being asked where they get ideas. That segues right into the topic of writer's block. But first, a little side discussion.
Last night, we had simultaneous band concerts at the elementary and middle schools. Reanna had her last band concert as an elementary student, and Audrey had her last concert of the year as a seventh-grader. I was with Reanna, but I heard that Audrey was given an award for most outstanding female 7th-grader. She apparently has a new nickname, "The Machine," apparently because the band teacher doesn't direct the pieces at a fast-enough tempo.
Okay, writer's block. You know writer's block, when the muse refuses to visit. I think it's a crock. Oh, I've had days when I couldn't think of anything to write, but it's generally because I'm too lazy to do the story construction methods I know. Writer's block is a symptom of waiting for the muse to grace the writer with a visit.
Story ideas are everywhere. Let me give you an example of what a writer can do when there isn't a great idea delivered by the muse.
One day I was between good ideas but didn't want to take a day off from writing. Instead, I did what Nick Mamatas calls boiler pot--writing something to keep the pot boiling.
On that day, I sat at my computer and noticed a hole in the wall from a nail that once hung a picture. I started thinking about that hole, and asked myself a question--what if the hole in my wall was really a tiny black hole that was consuming my wall. I threw in a twist and made the black hole 2-dimensional, just for kicks.
Couple the above idea with soemthing I learned from David Gerrold--a story doesn't have to be very fictional to be good fiction. I used myself as the point of view character and just rolled with it. I sold Hole in the Wall to Atomjack magazine, and they used it as the lead story of their first issue. All this from writer's block.
Now, there are other reasons that a writer might be blocked. Stress can really keep you from the right frame of mind to write. Let's face it, life interferes with your plans.
I'll discuss some ideas for fighting writers block next time.