Casey M. Millette, sixteen, has been into fantasy since she was five. Her love of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia has inspired her to write Cursed and pursue other passions, such as martial arts, acting, and lots of reading. Casey lives just outside Atlanta, Georgia with her family and cat, Hudson. You can follow her on the Casey M. Millette Facebook page and www.caseymmillette.com.
How to Beat Writer`s Block by Casey M. Millette
Anyone who`s ever written anything has experienced the down toll of getting “stuck.” Its terrible; trust me, I know. Every writer deals with it, and every author overcomes it. If it were easy, writing would no longer have the value that it does today. Maybe you`re lacking motivation, or maybe you really don`t feel like it, don`t have the time, or are just plain scared of facing that blank page. I know I`ve experienced all of those. You`re not alone!
As I have grown older and my writing abilities improved, I discovered several ways to beat out the writer`s block and find new inspiration:
As a writer, you should always be looking for more inspiration and improving your craft. All great writers recognize that they still have much to learn. William Shakespeare quoted, “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” The best way to become a better writer is to read. The same pieces of your brain that you use to write are engaged in a slightly different way as you absorb information. Inhale (read), exhale (write).
Take a Trip
Going on a road-trip, hike, vacation, or even a 20 min. walk around the neighborhood can work wonders. Seize these opportunities to reconnect with your family or anyone else that you might have lost touch with while distracted with other activities (it does`t necessarily have to be writing!). Whenever the brain fog sets in, that means it`s time to breathe again. Relax and move in meditation, physical exercise, or as a board game character that you`re playing your little brother.
As a writer, you are prone to be immersed in different worlds, dimensions, and other people`s heads. I remember when I first started writing, I drifted so far away from my family that my parents grew concerned. I wouldn`t talk to anyone. I didn`t want to see my friends. I was perfectly settled in my own world that I had created. That`s not a good thing. That means that you are not in control. The ability to pull from your world as well as enter inside its core is not an easy task. In order to master both, you need to make sure that your relationships aren`t neglected. Get in touch with friends, or even family that you don`t see as often (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc.). A skype call would probably mean the world to them. As many of my characters are based on my friends, I draw my inspiration from them. Whenever I hang out with who I`m close to, I listen to their troubles, hurts, passions, the sound of their voice, and watch how they move. Being around people in general is very inspiring. You can learn a lot from any soul.
Build a Routine
Getting into an system is beneficial and effective. You`ll have more time, feel less stressed, and build organizational skills . Since I get up at four, I dedicate those early hours to my work. Because I have school and various other things to do during the day, I make sure that my writing gets the attention it deserves. If you are not a morning person, find time in the afternoon, evening, night, whenever, as long as you motivate yourself to sit down at that computer from 1-2 or 4-7. Make sure those hours count.
Listen to Soundtrack
Everyone has a favorite movie. If your muse isn`t cooperating, let the music speak for it. Listen hard. Listen well. Find your favorite movie`s soundtrack and discover other dramatic orchestra work. Personally, soundtracks create movies in my head. I can hear my character speak with the music. Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino, Howard Shore, and Ramin Djawadi are only few of the composers I listen to in order to find my muse. Even pop songs with meaningful lyrics can create a deep character.
And, last, of course, there`s always the option of pushing through. Sit yourself down at your computer/paper/journal and just freaken` write. Even if that just means you have the energy for a few paragraphs, sentences, words, it still means something. You`ve got this. Nobody is going to be as passionate about your project as you are. Once you start rolling, the words will just come. Even if it takes days of sitting in front of a blank screen and pounding out just a measly paragraph, it still makes a difference.