It’s springtime again, and although this is a season that symbolizes hope, rebirth, and new beginnings, I find that at this time of year, I always hit a wall, both in writing and in my life. I think that this has to do with a lot of busyness, and not enough time to think. I typically thrive on positive or affirming words, and this is the time of year when warm weather isn’t coming fast enough and people aren’t the most charitable with their words. Just now, I’m taking a break from a study wall (trying to figure out the truly awesome (aka, pain-in-the-neck) invention of Prezi, which feels like a super high, super hard wall at the moment.
Here’s some tips to help you when you hit a writing (or life) wall:
1. Move Around It.
This isn’t the same thing as avoiding the problem. Avoiding is putting something off, knowing that you’ll likely never return to it. Sometimes, problems, whether writing or life or whatever, simply need to be looked at from another angle, or after some time away. Almost like when you’re doing a quiz. You don’t want to get stuck on one problem, and end up not finishing So move around the wall by continuing to write past the your pain point. Sometimes, this will give you all the clarity you need.
2. Offer the Wall to a Higher Power.
When I get stuck, I usually start internally freaking out. After the panic attack, I realize that maybe I don’t need to take care of the wall all on my own. After that, I usually pray to God for help regarding the problem. Not only is this soothing, but I find I get the help that I need to move past the problem, whether its through a dream or through some sort of life experience that gives me new inspiration. Jonathan Ball talks about praying to the “God of Writing” in this post: http://www.jonathanball.com/godofwriting/ Whatever floats your boat. Either way, realizing that you don’t have to handle the wall by yourself can help you move past it.
3. It Takes a Village to Raise a Child….or Move a Wall.
Sometimes you might get the answer to your prayers (or you might feel like you’re not) and you need to make sense of it. How do you do that when you’re close to the wall? Call in the troops! While I sometimes advise against outside human help in early stages of writing (or life problems), simply because it can be confusing, sometimes, things are too big to interpret ourselves. Maybe there’s someone who can help? Could be a family member or friend, or another writer. Getting someone to read your work, or talk about a writing issue with you can open up new ideas, which can help you move forth.