Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blocking that Writer's Block

I listened to a t.v. show where Nigerian Nobel Laureate (for Literature), Professor Wole Soyinka was asked to advice would-be writers on what it takes to be a great writer. And he said, that if a writer suffers from writer's block, they should think of another vocation/profession...!

It wasn't funny but i managed to laugh because i do not know of any writer who has not suffered from writer's block. It does not have to transcend to brainy nothingness but a time frame when you must pause (i emphasise Pause) and reflect, edit, re-write and ponder on what your imagination crops up.

I don't know whether it's a natural occurence for writers to have writer's block but in my own case, it happened when i began my writing craft (and that was when i was 14 years old). It was a terrible and helpless situation, filled with ambiguity, cumbersome misplacement of ideas and trying so hard to write like James Hadley Chase.

With the advancement of technology and incessant information at one's disposal, all you have to do is get inspired and get cracking.


  •  The Internet is more than just a space. All the research you need to do is at a click of a button. (Though, i do not envy communist countries where information is greatly restricted.)

  •  Libraries are immensely useful in researching a non-generic issue.

  •  It helps if you have loved ones practising professions you want to base your characters on. That way, you can ask all the questions in the world. (My vet, artist fiance, psychology friends will cringe when i come close to them as i can be an automated questioner).

  • Movies. (Believe it or not, movies are a depiction of reality except for the sci-fi and fantasy genres. And you stand a chance to watch your favourite eye-berry{coined from strawberry} like Dominc Cooper, Joe Flanigan, Taylor Lautner etc).

  • Songs. Songs are melodies from our heart. Or written by a professional. But whatever the source, songs can inspire you in ways you can dream of. It can also shake up some memories that can be used for your story.

  • Your neighbour. Whether they look like Doctor Who or Asterisk, the bottom line is that the mystery surrounding that person could turn out to be a sweet recipe for your main character/hero/heroine.

People come in different packages so do whatever that works for you and see yourself riding high in the clouds of writing. Block that writer's block. Enough said!

1 comment:

  1. you should buy that t-shirt that says anything you tell me might end up in my next book. but u are right u never know when inspiration would hit


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