Writers’ Block: When Your Imaginary Friends Refuse to Talk to You

All writers wrestle with the devil called writer’s block at some time or another. Whole classes have been devoted to the subject. The causes can be many; losing a train of thought, loss of interest in a subject, distractions – just give a person a deadline, and writer’s block is sure to follow. There are many cures that have been handed down throughout the ages. Some better than others, none guaranteed to work. Writing for personal use, school papers, business proposals or the Great American Novel, procrastination, distraction and can leave you staring at the wall for hours if not days.

Many writers rely on a change of scenery to overcome stubborn writers’ block. Some bestselling authors who have the luxury, report that spending time on the water, away from distractions like city noise and traffic is a sure cure. Just getting ready for the trip has been known to clear away cobwebs. If heading to the water seems like a good place to shake the doldrums, let the people at West Marine help you get your vessel sea worthy. You can use a promo code from Groupon to make your purchase, and might even find something juicy to write about in the process. Even if you just fish off a pier in a lake, there is something calming about water that stills the mind and stokes the imagination. There is even an annual event called the Writer’s Symposium by the Sea that takes place each year in California.

While some find solace on or near the water, others rely on a word prompt exercise to loosen their thoughts. Maya Angelou would sit and write a nonsensical phrase repeatedly until, as she put it, “the muse realized I was serious” and spoke to her again. Indeed, some say writers’ block is when your imaginary friends stop talking to you.   Playwright August Wilson was known to begin each writing session by circling his desk, with each orbit moving closer and closer until at last he’d sit down and begin writing.   Ernest Hemingway said the best way to avoid writers’ block was to stop writing while things were “going good.” From there you could easily pick up the next day, he felt.

If your imaginary friends refuse to talk to you, there are many methods you can use to loosen their lips. Just be ready to hear what they say.…