It can be said that writer’s block is analogous to a frozen computer. PCs sometimes freeze when they go into a ‘loop’ where the solution to one algorithm merely takes them back to their starting point. In the same way the human mind, striving to solve a plotting problem in an interesting and creative way, can end up running round in circles.
If we continued the analogy, all that would be required to snap out of the writer’s block would be a reboot, or in a human’s case, a good night’s sleep. But the human brain is vastly more complex than any CPU or operating system and a mere nap is rarely enough to resolve all the issues that have caused the blockage in the first place.
Admittedly it might be possible, merely with the passage of time, to allow the brain to clear itself and break out of the loop but this is unsatisfactory, especially for a professional writer who might be working to deadlines. What is needed is a guaranteed method which will allow the creative mind to function normally again.
Such a method does exist, but it goes against every normal belief. The best way to break out of a writer’s block is to write. Howls of anguish now rend the air as writer’s complain that they can’t write, that’s why it’s called writer’s block.
What they’re required to do is stop working on their current project, the one that’s causing them all the grief. The writing they are expected to do should be as far removed from their regular work as possible and the more insane the better.
Insane and Fun Writing Prompts
Here are some suggestions –
Write some dialogue between Sherlock Holmes and James Bond.
Describe the effects of a Roman Legion going up against one Sherman tank.
The workers building the Great Pyramid at Giza go on strike for better conditions. Detail the negotiations that get them back to work.
Write the report on the successful Allied assassination of Adolf Hitler.
John Lennon never met Paul McCartney. Describe his life.
John F. Kennedy wasn’t assassinated. What was the rest of his presidency like?
Write a review of a McDonald’s burger.
You are in love with Sarah Palin. Write her a love letter.
Write the ad copy for the brochure encouraging emigration to Mars.
Write a religious tract espousing vigorous dancing as a means of spiritual enlightenment.
Get the idea? For some reason the human brain reacts better when it is active and quickly discards its previous problems, effectively clearing its memory buffers to allow it to deal with its new tasks. Once the nonsense job is complete the unblocked writer can return to it with a fresh mind and renewed enthusiasm.
Write your way out of a writer’s block. Write the finest idiocy you can imagine, doggerel poetry, advertising for insane products, a news report from Toytown, anything that will disengage you from whatever has stymied you. Where blockages are concerned it’s cheaper than a plumber.