Editor: Go out and write!

Luke Garcia, Editor in Chief

With National Novel Writing Month just on the horizon, participants from Galileo’s creative writing club The Write Stuff will be confronted by their worst fear – writer’s block.

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, writer’s block is the state of being incapable of adding on to any piece of writing – anything from a novel to a news story.  Because writing is pretty prevalent in many fields of work, I’m sure this “how to” will apply to more people than just those who are participating in NaNoWriMo.

There are many techniques that people use to rid themselves of writer’s block, so it would be preposterous to even try to include all of those said techniques.  Thus, this article will only cover the methods that I believe to be the most effective.

My first point, brainstorming, may be quite an obvious step to take for most people.  I have no doubt that most of you start whatever you’re writing with the ideas inside your head, and that’s fine.  However, I find brainstorming even more useful if you actually transcribe your ideas.  This may sound really trivial, but trust me, it’s not.  When I write my ideas down, I think them over more and actually get to organize my thoughts.  Organizing what you already have can influence you into coming up with more ideas.  Furthermore, unused ideas can be used for future stories!

People say you can’t really force writing, but I disagree to an extent.  If writing doesn’t flow out of you, sure, you can take a break.  However, if you take a break from writing for a long time, writing will stop flowing altogether.  Trial and error is a huge part in writing.  If you’re stuck, you can read over your mistakes and learn from them.  Rewrite your story.  Eventually, you’ll end up reaching the perfect draft or realize that your story idea might not be as good as you originally thought.  The latter is a hard fact to accept if you love your story, but trust me, if you realize the flaws and write a better story, you’ll end up loving the finished product even more.

If you’re still stuck, writing something new can always help.  This may sound silly or even stupid, but writing something other than your story can actually give you more ideas.  This broadens your limitations preset by the exposition of your WIP story.  This works very similarly to brainstorming, except for the fact that I find it more immersive.

Talking about your story with peers is both helpful and fun.  Be inquisitive.  The questions you ask will prompt your friends to think more broadly about their story and also galvanize them into doing the same for you.  You can exchange ideas and gather inspiration.  

Don’t you ever get a different feeling when you’re at a friend’s house?  In a park?  At the beach?  Being in a new place can give you new emotions.  These emotions can inspire us to write about them and help us continue our stories in ways we never would have imagined before.  I crave this.  It’s what I love about writing-  the exploration of the intricacies of our own minds.  If you’ve never done something like this, I have one thing to say to you:  go out and write!