When writer’s block won't go away, I usually discover that I am not really ready to begin writing in the first place. On these days, it is best for me to take a step back to regroup instead.
The following is a list of research strategies that help get my writing back on track. Originally, I wrote this for myself (when I couldn't focus on what I was supposed to be writing!), but now I feel like sharing, so enjoy!
|A few favorite books|
(plus an Easter egg)
- The Matto Grosso
- Loch Ness, Scotland
- And craziest of all, Soddy Daisy, Tennessee city limits, which took me about a million years to find. (Way to go Soddy Daisy officials! Your borders are less available than the boundaries around most South American tribes.)
2. Use Fun Facts to Your Advantage! After all, you must often think of your readers as sharks hungry for inaccurate details, so do not give them anything to chew on. Just as importantly, if you are going to include historical details or facts, try to make them interesting. Sometimes even the most unrelated information, if cleverly placed, can and will keep the most vivacious of readers at bay. Here is a list of the crazier research topics I’ve explored in the past.
- Strategies to better your chances at online sweepstakes
- Exorcism prayers
- Facts about that lady who won millions after burning herself with McDonald’s coffee. (By the way, if you think this case was ridiculous, you may want to read THIS.)
- Tips for radiation prevention that included everything from learning about the pills and radiation counters to physical shielding (metal vs. wood vs. dirt) and radiation tolerance levels (humans vs. mice vs. fruitflies, of which humanity is on the less resistant side).
- Kennedy assassination, Cubam Missle Crisis, and moon landing conspiracies.
3. Don’t Forget to Use Multiple Platforms! In other words, don’t search for all your ideas online. Ask a professional for help. And don’t forget you are a writer, so maybe try reading an honest-to-God book every once in a while too.
- Lately, I have read, The Lost World (Author Conan Doyle’s classic version), The Heart of Darkness, The Lost City of Z, Through the Brazillian Wilderness, and The River of Doubt: TheodoreRoosevelt’s Darkest Journey just because one search became so interesting to me that I got a majorly out of control!
- I also read Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63 about the Kennedy assassination. After all, these books do not always have to be textbook reads. The real point is that they should give you ideas for further questions and more specific research to conduct.
|2012 trip to ruins in Belieze!|
4. Act Everything Out! Before you turn on your computer, take the time to actually visit relatable places to better imagine what certain situations feel like. If you are writing about being in the woods, then actually get off your butt and go out in the woods. If you’re writing about being in the woods at dark without a flashlight, then go out in the woods after dark and throw your freaking flashlight in a creek! (God, have mercy. Why did I do that?!) I can almost guarantee that you’ll get something from this exercise, so long as you don’t get yourself killed.
WRITER’S BLOCK? Brainstorm the smells, sounds, colors, space, temperature, and movements in that troublesome scene. https://t.co/dQICA59EIT— Bradley Cannon (@BradleyJCannon) February 11, 2017
5. Chat With Your Characters! It may sound crazy (because it is!), but actually take the time to ask your characters about their
- favorite color, food, and movies,
- political and religious views,
- first date and family life,
- work experience and school grades,
- and anything else you can think of.
- And (my favorite) Swahili translations for characters.
|Visit www.bradleycannon.com |
for free stories today!
7. Don’t Go Anywhere Without Your Toilet Paper! After all, writing is a lot like crapping. If you don’t write something down when it first comes to you, it will only be a lot harder and more painful to get it out in the future. Carry a notepad with you or use your phone to send yourself messages because writers do not get holidays. Plus, I hate to say this (especially to myself!) but if we all took notes from the beginning, then maybe we wouldn’t be stuck with writer’s block in the first place.
Thanks for reading. Please let me know what crazy tips help you get out of writer’s block in the comments below!