The Six Elemental by Ali House

Travel VS Writer’s Block

I’ve been having wickedly terrible writer’s block lately.  There are so many projects on my list, and I keep getting stuck on stupid things that I shouldn’t be stuck on.

I have a few methods for dealing with writer’s block:

  • go for a long walk
  • go to the library or a cafe
  • change the music / listen to music
  • turn off the TV / stop watching Youtube videos (you’ve seen this one already, you don’t need to watch it again)
  • write something stupid that will serve as a placeholder for the scene I’m currently working on and move on to a more interesting scene
  • realize that maybe the reason I’m not writing this scene is because I’m not interested in it, and find a way to make it more interesting
  • consider going to sleep, because as I’m drifting off my brain is sure to think of something I should write down, thus making me get up

However, my most effective method appears to be:

  • Travel

I haven’t travelled much in the past year, but so far this year I’ve gone away twice, and those two times have been quite creative for me.

A few months ago I made a trip to another province.  It was mainly script-focused (I was going away to work on 2 scripts I’d written), but it involved a long bus ride, so there was plenty of time to stare out the window and let my mind wander.

During the bus ride there I came up with an idea for a short story/novella.  During the bus ride back I came up with an idea for another short story/novella.  Granted, this wasn’t super helpful because I have other projects to work on before I can get to those two, but it’s nice to have some ideas in the backlog (especially as something to spur you on to get those other stories finished).

Then, a few weeks ago, I flew home for a visit, and the combination of bus + plane + waiting in the airport = me writing.  I wrote a new start to a project that had been plaguing me for years.  Despite all the plotting, I still hadn’t figured out what age to make my protagonists or when to set the story.  However, during the flight home and back I found some inspiration and was able to write an entire first chapter for the story – 10 handwritten pages.  I even mapped out most of the rest of the book.

I guess there’s something to be said for being stuck in a moving vehicle with nowhere to go and nothing else to do.

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