Thursday, January 13, 2005


The Case of:

In the beginning everything was all fine and dandy... You were chugging away, situations and characters galloping through your head, chatting with other writers about this critique or that publisher, going as you've been going, making a tidy profit on the way…
Then one day you wake up and -- WHAMMO!

You just can't do it. Or worse: you don't Want to do it. Everything you found fun interesting and cool just… wasn't fun, interesting or cool anymore. 
You pass by the computer and go do something else. You shrug it off. Maybe you just needed to give your brain a rest. You find yourself doing something else for several days, and then several weeks have gone by. Then several months, sometimes several years, but... 

You just can't make yourself go back.

What the heck happened? 

Two words: WRITER'S BLOCK. The number one cause of Professional Authors abandoning their manuscripts and perfectly profitable writing professions.

YOU are Not Alone.  

Talk to any webmaster or artist, they'll tell you EXACTLY the same thing. They were working their butts off 24/7 and all of a sudden, everything in their head just -- stopped.
When Artists run out of vision, they call it Artist's block. When Webmasters run out of ideas, they call it Burn Out. Writers get it too; they call it Writer's Block.

What Stopped? Or rather, What's Missing?

All those really cool Daydream musings you had all day, every day are missing. Writing is mentally exhaustive work that takes a high level of concentration and a huge amount of creativity. Yes - Creativity. Every character, and every story you come up with comes from your IMAGINATION.
Your Imagination has run Dry.

How do you FIX Writer's Block?

The same way artists and webmasters fix it.

First, Rest. Exhaustion plays a huge factor is this particular disease. Rest equals: VACATION. Take a week; take two! Get your brain out of that box! Then...

FEED your Starving Imagination.  

How the heck do you do that?

Go back to the SOURCE of your musings.

How old were you when you decided to write your first story? What did you do for fun back then? THINK about it. All that stuff you were doing back then is what triggered the need to build your first story. That's where your imagination caught fire. That's where your imagination can be found again.

But first, VACATION! Go find a beach with cute surfer dudes and babes while having some fruity boozers with pink umbrellas, go camping and stare at the stars, get out of the house and away from the desk and DO Something! Then worry about watching all those old movies, and the anime you loved, going to Sci-Fi conventions, plus reading comic books and manga.

Also, make sure you take the time to dwell on people, places and events that excite you -- even if they're someone else's people, places, and events. Hell, write some Fan-Fiction while you're at it!

After all, the Dungeons & Dragons gaming systems would never have come about if someone hadn't gotten obsessed with JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. Just think what the Harry Potter series could inspire!

For more info click here: Stocking the Writer's Imagination

Morgan Hawke


  1. Interesting post. I couldn't do anything after I cranked out my non-fic book last year but now I'm finally getting interested in my own stories again.

    The voices are no longer mute!

  2. Dear Morgan,
    I'm 1666 words into my 5000-word story, two paragraphs into a pivotal and emotional scene, and my deadline is looming....but i keep wandering over here to your blog, reading really useful tips and encouraging straight dope and laughing my ass off every few minutes.

    What should I do?

  3. " deadline is looming....but i keep wandering over here to your blog... What should I do?

    Clearly you need to take a break from your story. You're too close -- too focused. All businesses allow weekends off to unwind. You should too.

    Try this for just One Day, close the story and Play! Surf the 'net, (and/o my site). Go out and play Frisbee with the kids. Go shopping. Mow the lawn. DO something, then come home and relax. The following day, I'm sure that you will find that your head will be much clearer and you'll be able to refocus on your story.