The Horrors of the Block
A MESSY DESK - Some ideas come right to you, while others take hard work to discover
them. Anyone out there who enjoys writing knows the horrors of Writers' Block.
Whether it be writing an article for the Neopian Times, writing poetry for the
Neopets Poetry Contest, or even writing an essay for school, sometimes ideas just
leave you and refuse to come back until you have run after them for miles and
finally caught them. Everyone who has tried to get their article in the Neopian
Times knows how hard it is to come up with a completely new idea. But what if
you can't think of a fresh idea? What if everything you think up seems to be trash
to you? What you need is inspiration, a distinctive idea that will put you one
step ahead of everyone else.
There are several ways you can find inspiration when trying to write something.
One very useful way of trying to come up with a unique idea is to look at other
people's writing. Their writing usually reminds you of something that has happened
in your own life which rouses an idea out of you. Read some of the other entrees
in the Neopian Times and see if some of their writing inspires you.
Another way of finding inspiration that is very useful to me when trying to
write an article for the Neopian Times is to look in the News. See what is going
on the Neopian World. Then, try to build a story off of those events. For example,
the new band, the Hikalakas have just come out, you could do a story about them.
When the Fire Paw avatar came out, you could write a story behind it. You could
write a complete story about Punchbag Bob. How did he become an opponent in
the Battledome? You could write an interview with the faeries. You might even
try creating a story of how the Neopets came to be. Try to come up with fresh
ideas as to why everything is the way it is. Creating Neopets related stories
can be much more difficult to write about, but that's half the fun. If everyone
could get into the Neopian Times, then it wouldn't be an accomplishment and
you wouldn't feel as good or as proud about it.
If you are writing about a specific object, then it helps to keep the object
nearby. For instance, if you are writing a sonnet about the sea, it might be
helpful to keep a shell, or a photograph of the ocean nearby. Sometimes it helps
to look at the object for a few minutes and simply let your thoughts run through
your head. Watch a movie with a setting near the ocean- or with many oceanic
scenes. Watch how the waves roll and the golden sand. If you are looking at
the item, you will never have trouble describing it. You can't simply come up
with an idea, and then be able to write about it. You have to think. Think of
the emotions this subject makes you feel. For example, if you are trying to
write a limerick about a rose, then think about what emotions and sentiments
a rose conveys. Think of some descriptions of the rose to liven up your writing.
Describe the red of the rose, the green of the stem, and the delicate frills
of the leaves. But what tends to happen when describing items is cliché-ness.
Saying that the rose was blood red us overused. When writing, try to come up
with new metaphors and similes. For example, the "rose was as red as lipstick"
or "as red as azaleas." Or instead of saying "the long, green stem," say "the
elegant stem was a deep jade."
This method may sound slightly strange, but it works. Sometimes, ideas come
to you in your sleep. Your dreams occasionally give you ideas for stories. Dreaming
also allows your thoughts to wander and sometimes they wander right where you
want them- on an interesting story topic. Once, I had a dream about aliens coming
and taking my friend and I into space. I wrote a novel about it. Of course,
you aren't going to write a whole novel for the Neopian Times. You are more
likely to just come up with a simple storyline. Take a nap, and see if when
you wake up you have a new idea in your head.
Sometimes just not writing at all for a little while will help you. You won't
be straining your wits to come up with something to write about. Just keeping
your mind OFF of writing, concentrate on the other aspects of your life. Eventually,
you will come up with an idea and be able to write about it. It takes time to
come up with a high-quality story idea and get it completely worked out so that
all grammatical and spelling errors are worked out and all other errors are
fixed as well.
If you can't come up with anything to write about, write about what you did
that day. Start from the moment you got, try to remember the dreams you had.
Then move onto breakfast, brushing teeth, brushing hair, going to work/school,
ect. Make sure to incorporate every detail you can remember. Sooner or later,
you might realize that your day could make a pretty good story. Change some
of the smaller details and then work from there. If you had an incredible test
that was so hard, it had you ripping your hair out, anxiously staring at the
bell, waiting for it to release you from the terror, then write about that.
Integrate all the details. Details are very important, it makes reading your
work a more enjoyable experience. If everyone always wrote, "I baked a cake,"
as a description of their weekend, it would be pretty boring to read. Wouldn't
it be more interesting to read, "This weekend, I baked a cake with my mom. It
was chocolate and had bright blue icing. My mom and I were covered with batter
and icing by the time we were done and we scared my dad out of the house, thinking
we were aliens!"
And, finally, you might also try to find inspiration by taking some time off
from Neopets. Let your mind flow- instead of focusing it on your desired topic.
Just let ideas float around in your head, if you end up coming up with a good
plan, grab hold of your net and catch it with all your might. Try to do something
to take your mind off of writing your poem, article, or story.
Sometimes, inspiration comes in odd places. You might be babysitting a neighbor,
doing your math homework, or watching a movie. No matter where you are, ideas
might come to you. Keep writing utensils nearby so that if you come up with
an idea, you can jot it down before your forget it. You may think that just
because it is a great idea, you will remember it. You're wrong. By writing it
down, you are guaranteeing you won't forget it (unless you loose where you wrote
Inspiration lurks everywhere, all the time. It is your job to unlock the bolt
and open the door to new ideas.