Overcoming Writer's Block

This might be more suited for IMHO. If so, I’m sorry.

I used to be extremely prolific as a writer. Three screenplays, two novels, many, many short stories (never published any of it but I never tried either).

Now, for some reason, I’m completely dry. I can’t come up with anything. Does anyone have any advice on how to overcome this?

There was a thread on this not too long ago, with lots of ideas and viewpoints on the subject. In this forum, IIRC, you might try a search for it. Can’t remember who started it, but they were in the same boat as you.

[hijack] Just wondering, where did you get your screen name from? If you don’t mind me asking. When I saw the name, the first thing that popped into my head was Arkan (sp?) the late Serbian war criminal. Sorry, nothing meant by it. Just threw me, that’s all.[/hijack]

Duh. I should have searched. I know better.

Don’t worry about the Arkan thing, I get that a lot. In my defense, I came up with Arken in 1989 and Arkan wasn’t exactly well-known outside of Serbia back then. Me bein’ an Indiana boy, I wouldn’t have much of a way to know about him.

Anyway, I got the name from thin air. My first 'net experience way back then was a MUD (for those not in the know, MUD stands for Multi-User Dungeon. Essentially an online text-only Dungeons and Dragons game) I just put some letters together and thought it sounded nice. I’ve since learned that it means Ark (as in Noah’s) in several Scandanavian languages. There’s also the Arkenstone in Tolkein’s books and the folk singer David Arkenstone. These are all coincidences to my handle.

I’m also not related to Alan Arkin, but I wish I had his money. :smiley:

ya, that was me that started the other thread.

big cheesy grin

you know i had the worst the case of writer’s block ever. i was going to give up my hopes and dreams of a glittering career in the world of literature and become a council worker. then a friend recommended the sdmb.

i was a bit skeptical at first, i mean, it’s just a message board. why are the people there going to help me overcome my insurmountable problems with writer’s block. but i gave it a go anyway.

talk about helpful! since i posted my thread, i’ve written 12 novels, 3 op-ed pieces, 6 poems and 4 screenplays (one, spiderman was recently announced to be the fastest selling film in history!).

i don’t know what i would have done without out the help of that fabulous message board. thanks sdmb!

Wow, gex gex! That’s amazing!

And you wrote the script to Spiderman? I’m floored.

Writers block is overcame by writing. Just write about small things, like driving a car or something, and get back in the swing of things. Either that or drink vodka all day everyday until you get something done.

I read where Isaac Asimov never had writer’s block for one main reason: he always had a great number of projects going at one time. Like OfBlinkingThings said, he overcame it by writing, by treating it like a job and sitting down and writing about something. If he wasn’t feeling particularly creative and didn’t want to write fiction, he had several non-fiction articles or books on his schedule. Do some research to get a fuller idea of what your characters might be like.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional writer.

Writersdigest.com has some great daily writing prompts–if you sign up for their email service, they send you a months’ worth at once. It can be useful for getting going again.

Break a leg!

I’m in the same boat, Arken, although my main problem is picking projects (stories, screenplays) back up, rather than starting them. I just do a lot of procrastinating, usually in the form of reading articles or books ABOUT the writing process, before I get my groove back for one of them.
As for the SDMB, not only is everyone helpful, many of the General Question or Great Debate topics may spark your imagination.

Oh, I have a project in mind. I’m wanting to make a short film.

What kind of short film?

That’s part of the problem. I have no idea. :wink:

No, actually I do have lots of ideas, I just for some reason can’t seem to transfer any of them to script form.

The thing I really want to do… something I’ve been interested in in some time… is science fiction with no special effects. Now I don’t mean some cheesy story with crappy pie plates on strings, I mean telling a story which would fit into the sci-fi genre but not use a single special effect to pull it off. It would, in essence, be the science fiction I always hope for but never get: sci-fi with heavy emphasis on characterization and plot rather than lots of stuff going kapow. I actually do have several concepts for this… it’s just a matter of being able sit down and friggin’ write one!