Four Things To Do When You Have Writer’s Block

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All writers have experienced the disheartening sense of creative bankruptcy that is writer’s block. The good news is that you don’t have to wait in a state of passivity until it disappears. Here are four tips for getting over the proverbial hump:

1. Read. When I’m feeling totally uninspired, I read. I read all kinds of things – novels, blog posts, short stories, news articles, song lyrics, poems, etc. Once I begin to truly appreciate the infinite ways in which language can be utilised to convey a message or tell a story, I start itching to use my further develop my own literary.

2. Write. No, I haven’t totally lost my mind and forgotten what the title of this post is. But really, sometimes the only way out is through. Unless you’ve truly and completely lost the ability to string a sentence together (in which case you should stop reading this post and call a doctor immediately) then the only thing standing between you and some words on a page is the fear of writing something bad. So, face your fear, write something bad, and eventually you’ll be rewarded for your diligence with inspiration.

3. Do Something New. This could be as simple as going to a new coffee shop, taking up a new hobby, learning a new skill, meeting a new person or visiting a new place. Newness is stimulating and can cause us to notice things we may have previously overlooked. Sometimes a simple change of scenery can be just the ticket for recharging those creative batteries.

4. Stay Calm. Writer’s block can be an extremely humbling experience. That’s a good thing – humility makes us strive to be better writers. Don’t get too freaked out by your current lack of creative energy. Keep to your end of the bargain (see No. 2) and this too shall pass.

 

How do you deal with writer’s block? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

Photo courtesy of Neal Sanche on Flickr. 

 

Genie, I’m Gonna Miss You

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I don’t often publicise my thoughts and feelings on the deaths of famous people. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, I don’t want to perpetuate the myth that the death of a celebrity is somehow more tragic than the death of an “ordinary” person. Two, I know that whatever sadness I may feel pales in comparison to that of the family and friends who are dealing with the very real loss of someone they loved dearly. That said, I have been struck by the outpouring of gratitude for Robin Williams’ life that has been flooding my various social media feeds since the news of his death was made public, and I am compelled to issue my own thank you note to the man whose voice is deeply embedded in the consciousness of my generation.

Laughter is an amazing gift. It lifts the soul, nourishes the mind and even boosts the immune system. Robin Williams punctuated our lives with many beautiful moments of sweet laughter. He brought lightness to many heavy topics (such as divorce, love, death and loss) without belittling them in any way, and in doing so helped many of us to deal such issues in our own lives.

Life is both a comedy and a tragedy – it is comprised of both laughter and tears. Williams always brought a deeply human element to even his most comedic roles (amazingly, even when playing non-human characters). His voice alone could clearly convey a broad range of human emotions. And although Mrs. Doubtfire is a movie that is widely noted for its hilarity, what sticks in my memory is the earnest, teary-eyed expression of a man who is brokenhearted at having to live apart from his children. This, I believe, is what made Williams so unique and so beloved – his ability to make us both laugh with joy and cry with compassion.

Thank you, Robin Williams, for the laughter. A major component of our collective grief is undoubtedly the wish that we could’ve returned the favor and given back to you in kind. Thank you also for the tears, which can be just as healing as laughter. That the world feels your absence so profoundly is a testament to how many lives you affected through your art.

Genie, I’m gonna miss you.

 

Image courtesy of scarlett1854 on Flickr. 

 

 

Video 30 of 30: Cover of “I Am Still Running” by Jon Foreman

Read about the 30 Days of Videos challenge here.

Challenge completed! And what better way to end than with a(nother) Jon Foreman song? (For the record, Jon Foreman is the only artist I’ve double up on during this challenge – tripled, if you count the Switchfoot song!) Thanks so, SO much to everyone who watched, liked, shared and commented on videos, and generally cheered me along! I really appreciate the support and hope that you enjoyed watching these videos as much as I enjoyed making them! To everyone who made requests that I haven’t gotten to yet, I still intend to post regular videos, so be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel in order to keep yourself in the proverbial loop!

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Video 29 of 30: Sing To Me Again (Original Song)

Read about the 30 Days of Videos challenge here.

It’s hard to compete with the sound of the surf, but if you wear headphones you should be able to hear my voice above the oceanic roar. If not, I’ve included the lyrics in the video description!

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Video 28 of 30: Move (Original Song)

Read about the 30 Days of Videos challenge here.

I filmed this at Buffalo Bay in Knysna, whilst staying there for the weekend in celebration of a friend’s birthday and our fifth wedding anniversary. I thought it was quite an apt setting, given the lyrics! (P.S. My iPhone cut out towards the end of filming, hence the fadeout!)

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