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Location: Adairville, Kentucky, United States

I'm a songwriter and social commentator who sees things a little bit differently from most--and that's a good thing. You can email me at jdindiepub@yahoo.com

Friday, October 13, 2006

WRITER'S BLOCK: IS YOUR MIND LIKE A RIVER, OR A TRICKLE?

What is writer’s block? Is it the inability to write? No. It’s the inability to feel a connection to your writing, because of mood or lack of imaginative juice. The juice comes like a river for some, and like a trickle for others. For those who experience a trickle, there are ways to increase your flow.

Rivers of thought come from a source: the cognitive awareness of the details of life coupled with a desire to share one’s impressions of those details in order to move another. Those who experience the trickle either don’t recognize the details, or don’t know how to organize them into a coherent and compelling form. Let’s assume we all have the ability to appreciate our world, and the details in it, leaving only the mechanics of how to organize our perceptions left to iron out. Organization isn’t so difficult, is it?

Learning to organize thought into a digestible and moving form involves planning. Let’s start with the basics. First, you need a concept, idea, or hook. Once you’ve determined your subject, you should immediately begin thinking of a unique angle—something no one has thought of yet. Next, come up with a series of bullet point topics relative to your subject, and begin organizing your bullet points according to their relevance, or according to a timeline, or storyline. What you’re doing is outlining your subject. Lastly, conclude with a compelling summation of your theme.

Now that you have a solid outline, you can write anything from a newspaper article to a song about your chosen topic. Start fleshing out the details according to your map, or outline. In news and article writing the first few lines are going to make or break the success of your work. It’s no different in the writing of a song. If your outline is organized to maximize the points you’re trying to make, the final write will be superb.

Writing is organization, and the lack of creativity implies a lack of organizational skill. Your writing will improve exponentially if you improve your organizational skills. Like a strong fortress, your words must be constructed on a solid foundation—the outline. Good luck on your craft, and the improvement of it.

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