Creative Wordshops October 2017 Writing Newsletter


Pringle Bay Walking with your Story: A Creative Retreat Sun 22 Oct
Dear writer, storyteller, reader, traveller, lover of words, images, silences…
Running Round the Block Do plumbers get plumber’s block? What would you think of a plumber who used that as an excuse not to do any work that day? Philip Pullman
You often hear writers talking about Writer’s Block… the panic when blank page/white screen confronts us. Ideas, inspiration and writing energy have fled. We fear judgement.

The internal station SCR (Self Criticism Radio) broadcasts rap in our ears. We have forgotten the Chinese sage, Lao Tzu’s words. ‘Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. ‘
Here are as two approaches to this sense of loss . We can either run around the block or we can wait until it dissolves like ice in the sun, while we walk, dance, stoke the fire, watch birds feasting in the loquat tree.

Switching from the target text to playing with words helps. We relax, shift focus, think laterally (sideways). Play a word game , flip though a mag, draw a picture with the hand that does not write.

Donald Murray catalogues ‘Twenty Six ways to Defeat Writer’s Block.’ Here are eleven of them (with applications added)

  • Make believe you are writing a letter to a friend. (Start with “Dear…)
  • Switch your writing gizmos .
  • (Pen to pencil or computer and write on cardboard or change the size of the notebook)
  • Switch the time of day.
  • Call the draft an experiment. (A friend calls his poems meditations to take off the pressure)
  • Change the place where you write. Try that new cafe corner.
  • Stop in the middle……………………… of a sentence.
  • Be silly. (Write backwards, write in code)
  • Read words that inspire you (or that bore you)
  • Put a fictional someone else’s name on the piece. It’s not you writing this stuff.
  • Delegate the writing to your subconscious. And go and do something physical. Take a walk, jog, dance, swim.
  • Listen. Be aware of your breathing and heart beat

Jason Rekulak’s block of a book –fits into a palm.. could call it a block buster. The New York Times calls him as master of quirk – also the name of his publishing house. I put it on a block to snap it. There are 1001 prompts within… open at random….behold. Prompts (what I call lit matches flaring in the wordless head) galore …single words (waiting… wish… seduction) word clusters (bad hair day..begin with an explosion) .. snippets from writers (Isabel Allende. Tom Wolfe et al).

Oct 2017 letter