Writing is a wonderful way of life. However, it can also be one of the most frustrating things out there. This is because of a little thing called Writer’s Block. Every writer has suffered from it at one time or another. My most recent case of the block comes from my desire to write a screenplay.
I came up with an idea in high school called Attack of the Cremated Zombies. At the time, it was a silly idea that I thought was hilarious. I didn’t have any desire to write the story out, though. I wrote down a couple of basic ideas in my black composition notebook (what writer doesn’t carry one of these around). I graduated high school and the idea fell to the furthest basement of my brain.
I took my studies to Western Kentucky University, where I studied Interactive Advertising, Graphic Design, and Theater. During my few theater classes that I had, I met a gentleman by the name of Alex. He was a film major. We became fast friends and started making short films together.
About halfway through my senior year, I told him about my idea for Attack of the Cremated Zombies. He found it to be hilarious! So, I sat down and learned the basics of writing a screenplay. I bought the book “The Hollywood Standard”. I read the thing in one sitting. But, as much as I found the book interesting, it did not prepare me for the difficult journey on which I had set myself.
Sitting down in front of my computer, I hashed out 20 pages no problem. I thought to myself “This is going to be a piece of cake”. Twenty five pages and things started to become a little tougher. I got myself to 50 pages and realized that the story was almost done.
I wanted this to be a feature length film and the story was almost done at 50 pages!
I scared myself a this point and stopped writing for a while. I didn’t know where my story was going, and I didn’t know where to add things, so I just let it sit. After some time away, and lots of badgering from Alex, I picked up the script again and forced myself to write more script. This was the first step to getting through some of the writer’s block. I had to force myself to sit down and write. It didn’t need to make sense at the time. I could go back and edit.
Even after getting the script to 80 pages, I still felt the story was lacking. I needed to find another way to make it through. The next thing I tried, and am currently trying, is writing other stories. Writing other stories not only lets me practice writing, it also challenges my mind to constantly be thinking of new scenarios for other characters and other situations.
This is the current best advice I can give about getting past writer’s block.
You have to sit down and force yourself to write.
Even if it isn’t the story you want to write. Find writing prompts. Write stories about real things. That is my advice, and here is another bit from a blog I read a long time ago.
Devote the first hour of your day to your passion.
If you ever want to go anywhere in any field of work, you need to wake up first thing in the morning and practice. Write a short story, or about what you dreamed. If you wake up every day and go straight to work doing something you hate, your life isn’t going to get better and your writing isn’t going to get any better.
I leave you with some of my favorite places to find writing material.