i get writer’s block sometimes. i fucking hate writers that say, “i don’t believe in writer’s block.” they are assholes. and i don’t mean that in a i’m a jealous/frustrated/hack writer kinda way. well, maybe a little bit of that. but mostly i just mean they’re assholes for issuing an edict to all writers everywhere. fuck those dudes.
the rest of us writers, we get stuck sometimes. and those bullshitty listicles on buzzfeed/flavorwire/huffpo really don’t do a damn bit of good. (they do have nice cat .gifs, though.) which is why i did a little happy dance when i read jeffery renard allen’s response when he was asked about his secret to fighting writer’s block (as part of the spring books preview in the chicago reader):
When I get stuck, I will pull a random book off a shelf, open a page, and start reading. I usually search for a sentence or phrase that strikes me, write it down on a sheet of paper, then start to improvise on it until I come up with something…
why the shit i never thought of that before beats the hell outta me. but i freaking love this idea. i love the thought of encountering a random phrase, or a scene, or a place, or a person and trying to imagine how one of my characters would react to it. inserting my character somewhere they (probably) don’t belong will inevitably lead to some nice surprises. and if that random fictional prompt is too much a stretch, i love the idea of my character even just reading what i’m reading & having them react to the writing. do they throw the book across the room in frustration? does it remind them of someone they used to know? so many possibilities. so friggin’ great.