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It’s an appropriate week for this Trifecta Writing Challenge. We were given the word “funk,” and the standard range of 33 to 333 words to tell a story including the “slump” definition of the word. Here’s “Funk.”

“Funk”

Writer’s block is a miserable thing. You’ve had great ideas in the past, and surely you will in the future, but for whatever unknown reason, you’ve got nothing now. Maybe something happened that caught you off guard. Maybe you’re just tired and need to put down the coffee mug and take a nap once in a while (because naps are beautiful things that we shrug off as children for some godforsaken reason and struggle to embrace again as we grow older). Anyway. Something happened, and now you, the great writer that you are, are in some sort of terrible funk. The way out isn’t immediately clear, so you stop writing.

Bad idea. I know it seems counterproductive to write when you don’t have any ideas, when the cursor is just blinking at you, and you’ve been staring at the computer screen so long that you don’t even notice the blinking. I’ve been there too. Hell, I think everyone who has ever thought about being a writer has dealt with a shortage of things that they deem “good” ideas.

What do I do? I take a breather. I go for a short walk around my apartment complex, or play a game of D&D with my friends, or draw a picture of a character I created back in elementary school. Just change my brain’s pace for a little bit. It may not help immediately, but it gets me out of my funk. That way I’m not just sitting around my bedroom doing nothing all day.

If nothing else works, I free-write. No plans, no obligations, just me and a pencil and paper. Writing by hand helps me clarify ideas anyway, so doing a bit of stream-of-consciousness writing is a perfect way to chip away at whatever is keeping the ideas from flowing. Ideas will come when I least expect them, but there’s no guaranteed way for any one person. Find what works best for you, and put it to use. Good luck, and happy writing!

10 Comments

  1. Appreciate the advice. Here’s to the ideas always coming, and the words flowing easy. Well structured, and succinct. I think like therapists go to other therapists. Writers/editors all need to each other — keep our culture alive.

    • Absolutely. One of my favorite things about running this blog is the connections that I’ve made since I started it. Thanks for reading!

  2. A change of pace and scenery definitely helps. Sound advice! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I agree with TNT. Writers need to help each other , and that is in my opinion supportive and therapy to the writer. I also like your advice.

    • Well, thank you very much. We have to be here for each other. It’s the only way we’ll get through life as writers. 😀

  4. Great tips–sometimes moving the body will get the mind moving. I also like to try a few other sort of writing-tangential things (when I have the luxury of time): playing word games (on Twitter or otherwise), reading other writers and/or responding to their writing, and tackling a genre or style I don’t normally write in. I find that when I’m doing some mindless tasks (washing dishes, etc.), that action frees me to think about writing, too.

    • Thanks for your input, Leigh! It’s definitely good to associate with other writers and get to know other styles. Thank you for reading, and for the great comment!

    • KymmInBarcelona
    • Posted February 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm
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    • Reply

    I’m of the automatic writing contingent. Always good to have another tip or two.


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