Friday Speak Out!: Getting Creative with Writer’s Block, Guest post by Robyn Corum

Friday, June 21, 2013
Drivers along the northern stretch of Alabama’s busy I65 met with an eerie and unexpected sight during February of 2012 when a gaping sinkhole appeared before them in the blacktop.

It must have been terrifying.

In a peculiar way, the event reminded me of the potentially devastating effects of writer’s block. How many of us have been swept along by intoxicating whirlwinds of creativity and inspiration, only to be dropped suddenly and unceremoniously at the brink of our own black and cavernous ‘sinkhole’?

The big question is: how should we react when this happens? Human nature seems to say stare at the looming sinkhole. Think about it. Focus on it, to the exclusion of every good thing around you. And, yes, possibly even begin to spend time researching sinkholes. In other words ‘Think SINK’. Until the gnawing blackness grows to an overwhelming, all-consuming size.

Or…take action.

For just a moment, imagine the result if those unlucky February drivers had chosen to simply sit in their vehicles and stare at their obstacle. Not too efficient.

Instead, traffic was detoured and people started thinking. Some enterprising folks chose different modes of transportation for a week or two, a few drivers sought new routes, and still others opted to make phone calls instead of personal visits. People got creative!

To ward off writer’s block, you too, have to be pro-active and creative. One step is by choosing to become proficient in different genres. Though you may prefer to pen Young Adult Fiction, your talent can only improve as you learn to write quality Flash Fiction or try your hand at Poetry or Romance. If you always compose while sitting at the computer, ‘unplug’ yourself now and then to write long-handed or speak into a voice-recorder. Join a critique group or consider co-writing a piece or story. Or why not consider getting a ‘fresh start’, literally, by scribbling some notes while sitting beneath a tree under an expansive blue sky?

Shake things up! Keep the creative juices flowing by daring to challenge yourself and your brain. Do things differently and don’t be afraid to take detours!

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Robyn Corum loves words! The lucky girl has two books in print: a historical romance entitled Melinda Heads West, and a collection of short-form Japanese poetry entitled Pieces of Her Mind, written with other women poets. For Writer’s Resources and Tips visit her blog at:

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!



Sioux Roslawski said...

Robyn--Yes, we can't stare--unmoving--at our novel/short story if it's in a rut or we'll definitely sink as writer.

Great post. Thanks.

Unknown said...

I'm not sure I completely buy into the looming myth of the Writers' Block. When I do feel stuck, I pick different ways to feed my creativity: reading, journaling, hiking, music-- anything that stimulates my right-brain. Then I sit back down, face my insecurities (that's usually the source, for me) and write. It's not always good, in fact rarely is, but when the words finally come together-- it's bliss.

Margo Dill said...

Those sinkholes are very scary--they have been all over the place lately. But writer's block is too. I haven't really ever had it. But I'm going to knock on wood because I never want to get it either.

But I can use these tips if I do. Thanks for the post. :)

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