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Break Down Writer's Block

Article By: Desiree Addams

This is an article I wrote in response to a writing exercise that I participated in. It really works, so I wrote this article to share my experience with others. Haven't submitted anywhere yet. :-)

Submitted:Feb 3, 2010    Reads: 164    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   

Break Down Writer's Block


Three Simple Words

What you will need:

Five minutes

Computer or word processor or

Paper and pen or pencil


Three Simple Words

Fear, stress and writing seem to go together. Well, not anymore. This article will show you how to take the fear and stress out of writing in five minutes. Yes, five minutes is all it takes to write like you've never written before, to break down writer's block once and for all.

The words will fly from your fingertips. You'll experience the joy of writing and freedom of expression that will amaze you. If you follow the simple rules and actually do the exercise as outlined, your creativity will come alive.

Three simple words are all you need to get your creative juices flowing. It's been shown that the human mind needs only three words to complete a story. The words you pick must provoke an image, they must have significance beyond the initial definition of the word. Words like 'I', 'an' or 'the' are off limits. They aren't dynamic. Words help paint a picture for your reader. The better the words, the better the picture you'll create.

If You Can Talk You Can Write

If you can talk, you can write. Write the way you talk. How many times do you stop to edit before telling your friend what happened yesterday? Not often, right? Of course not, you just tell it like it happened. No editing, no stopping to search for just the right word or lofty expression.

That's precisely how you should write. It should flow just like you're talking to your friend, the reader. If you write quickly, you'll always write just the way you talk. When you write the way you talk your readers will feel as if you're talking directly to them. That's the most powerful way to tell your story.

The faster you write the simpler and more straightforward your writing style will be. Style becomes complicated and confused when too much time is spent searching for the right words and just how to put them together to evoke the emotional response you want your reader to feel.

Before You Begin

Before you begin, know that what you put into this exercise you will also get out of it. I know you've heard it before many times, but it is very true in this case. If you don't take this exercise seriously or treat it in an off-hand way, it will be useless to you. However, if you take it seriously and do it as described you will be astounded with the results. This method works every time, if you free your mind and just write.

Break Down Writer's Block

Are you ready to write like you've never written before? Great! Get some paper and a pen (or pencil). If you own a typewriter or word processing program, that's even better. Get your watch (take it off where you can see it) or a timer. Have you gathered your arsenal? Then it's time to get writing.

Here are the rules:

1. No editing at all during the writing period. You can edit later, to your heart's content, after you're done.

2. Write (type) as fast as you can for five minutes only. Let your fingers fly! Stop when the time is up, at least for this exercise. If you want to extend your writing time later, by all means do.

3. Do not think. Whatever comes to your mind goes on your page. If you find yourself stopping to think too much, stop writing and start over.

4. Pick three words from the list below. Choose ones that evoke the strongest responses from you. If other words from the list find their way into your writing, great!

5. Start with one of the three words. You can add any suffix or use any tense of the words that you choose.

6. The other two words (in any form), must appear in the first paragraph.

Here's your list: vampire, skip, house, darkness, cat, song, run, green, sky, theatre and love. Pick your three words and write! If you have problems picking, pick every third, fourth or fifth word. Set your timer and write as fast as you can until your time is up.

Time's Up!

Did you do the exercise? Pretty impressive isn't it? Did you write 2/3 of a page or even more? Most people do.

Now for the really fun part, read your story. It's good isn't it? The words just flowed, no writer's block, no hesitation, just good writing. It's probably some of the best writing you've ever produced. Surprised? I was when I did this exercise for the first time. I'm still amazed every time I put it to use.

If you had problems or experienced writer's block, take a rest and then do the exercise again later with a different set of words. Problems arise when you think too much about the process and don't let the words flow.

My Example

My words: vampire, darkness, love

Darkness descended on the vampire, having just lost his only true love to the stake. Why her? What went wrong? Why didn't he see it coming? He just couldn't fathom what had just happened.

It all happened much too fast. He'd had so little time with her. Her features were soft and feminine, her body, to die for. He would've done just that too, if he wasn't dead already.

His heart sank as the night air licked at his hair, blowing it in the breeze. What to do? Where to go? What were his options now? How could he go on? His heart was so heavy within him. It reminded him of when he was mortal.

His immortal condition just made his situation worse. He'd searched so long for this one with the alabaster skin. He could still smell her scent on his skin. Tears fell like rain from his eyes, streaming down his cheeks.

He wanted to die too, but the stake seemed far too painful and whoever heard of a vampire staking himself? Out of the question. He would go on it would seem, without her in his life. This was too much to bear. His thoughts swirled and his heart broke. Will there ever be love again for him? He's not really sure. It's all such a moot point now anyway.

For Further Fun

If you want to have more writing fun but you have problems coming up with words, try this idea. Take out a dictionary or a book and open the pages randomly (children's books are great for this). From the first page, write down the first noun or verb that you see. Then open it up to another page and do the same. Finally, open the book a third time and repeat. Use the rules cited above and write on!


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