As a writer, I sometimes get stuck creatively. I have heard this referred to as writer’s block but it is not exclusive to writers. Whether you are a business person, an engineer, in medicine, the arts, government or an NGO, you are likely familiar with the frustration of being creatively stuck.
When it happens to me, I am just unable to find a way forward in the book that I am working on. One method of dealing with this—something I have tried with varying degrees of success in the past—is to put the book to one side and work on a different one. However that does not deal with the fundamental issue and is not always practical.
Recently, I was badly stuck working on Lockstep, the sequel to Oboe. Then I ran into this fabulous video on YouTube.
I watched it twice and then followed Cleese’s advice to the letter. I closed my computer, put some blank paper in front of me and got myself into what he calls the ‘open mode’. Ideas literally poured out of my head onto the paper. Over three ninety-minute sessions, I filled six sheets with scribbled notes on plot lines, character traits and interesting twists. Most of them were good and a few were great. I also realized that because of the nature of Lockstep, I needed to change my writing process for this novel.
I am happy to report that, thanks to Mr. Cleese’s video, not only is Lockstep proceeding well but also I am working in parallel on the first book of a new trilogy.
If in your work, you ever find yourself stuck, or if you would just like to ramp up your natural creativity, you will find the above video well worth the 36 minutes that it takes to watch.
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