Last night I was sitting at my desk, wanting to create. There had been plenty of time for Netflix, for work, for social media, and relaxing. Now I wanted to produce. The creative process was calling out to me. But when I sat down to write something, I hit a complete blank. I stared at the screen, nothing coming to me.
After a few moments, I realized that I wasn’t having a dialogue the way I normally do with my ideas. So I started asking questions. What do I want to write about? Something about humans? Sci-fi? Philosophy? When I settled on writing something sci-fi, I started asking myself some basic questions:
- What is the world in this story like?
- Who are the key players? Why are they the way they are?
- What are the rules of this world?
- What is the major conflict or problem that needs resolving?
Those questions got the creative juices flowing.
An hour later, I was talking to my partner about some of the ideas. Telling her about them helped me flesh out this world even more. Then she started asking some questions I hadn’t even thought of. This was perfect. Answering those questions helped flesh this world out even more.
And then she and I started talking about the world, about the characters, and the more we talked, the more excited I became, the more inspired I was. Talking it out with her had sparked the creative energy that may have been missing. We had a great exchange of ideas, and her questions helped fill in the blanks perfectly. Our dialogue was exactly what I needed.
My point in writing this is that sometimes throughout the creative process, the roadblocks we face are created by ourselves. Sometimes we’re able to break through them by asking ourselves questions but the creative energy still doesn’t come back in full force.
During these moments, I’ve learned to talk out some ideas with someone. The exchange of information, being able to explain to them what it is I am writing about, and answering their questions can help spark the creative process yet again.
This isn’t surprising. I’ve found that some of my best ideas didn’t happen in a vacuum, but when I was interacting with someone. Having an outside voice can help trigger the internal elements that result in the creative flow of ideas.
What are your experiences with writer’s block?