Talking to Friends about Writer’s Block

By Bhalachandra Sahaj

Somebody once said that truth is born in a dispute. Personally I believe that disputes tend to make things more complicated; however, disputes also accumulate a vast amount of ideas and arguments. And despite that it’s not too good for hard-and-fast truths, a writer can benefit greatly from a dispute. In particular, a dispute (or an intense dialogue or conversation) is a great cure for writer’s block.

writer's block
All you need for a successful “surgery” is some free time, a place to gather some of your friends interested in literature, and a topic to discuss. Since you most likely will be the only writer in the company, you can guide some of the discussion into writing topics.

Don’t be afraid to seem unprofessional. Tell your friends honestly that you are having writer’s block, that you got stuck, and have no idea how to move on. If you already have some ideas for your writing topic, share them with your group; otherwise, give them at least a general description of your work.

In my experience, my friends usually start to debate with me about my writing process naturally. They supply tons of ideas about what my characters should do next (no matter that some of those ideas were weird or useless), what should happen next, how to solve an intrigue, and so on. In fact, such “consilium” does all the work for you–you just have to pick those ideas that you liked. Or which is also common, your friends’ ideas can inspire you so that you suddenly make a breakthrough and come up with a bunch of your own ideas.

If you are a hermit, or your friends hate literature, you can talk to yourself. There is nothing wrong about talking to yourself–everybody does it in their heads, and many sane people even do it aloud. Usually, it’s some useless blabbering, but you and yourself can discuss some serious stuff–your writing, for example. Chatting with yourself will help you relax, and your “conversationalist” will be able to give you one or two bright ideas. Just ask “him or her” questions.

Well, now you probably think I am strange. If so (and if not, too), stay updated with our blog anyways. More useful advice ahead!


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