One of the biggest problems writers face is most widely known as “writers block.” We have all experienced it and most of us feel like we must stop our writing process until that blank section in our brain is unblocked.
I have learned a way to unblock this pesky problem so you will never have to begin pulling your hair out or have a strong desire to punch a hole in your computer screen again.
As all of us writers already know, we NEVER know when a great idea will jump into our minds. We would be working out at the gym, taking a walk or especially just before we fall asleep. We write our ideas down as soon as possible so we don’t forget them.
But then we sit at the computer waiting for our story to begin oozing out of our imagination. Our fingers are flying across the keys board trying to keep up with our thoughts. Than out of nowhere, everything comes to a screeching halt. Our brains just shut down and we seem to have our minds stuck in a sand trap.
We have all been there and it is the most frustrating thing that can happen at the most interesting or exciting part in your article, fiction book or whatever story you are writing.
I have learned that the easiest way to get around this is to simply get around it. I call it the “CRAB” technique. What I mean is. if you are ready to have your character (we’ll call him “Bob”) tell a joke to his audience and you can’t come up with that perfect joke you want to use, then simply write in what you want you want to happen in Capital, Red, And Bold, letters “HAVE BOB TELL A JOKE.” Then move on with your writing. Do this throughout your story whenever you get stuck. If you have “Bob” carrying something, but you aren’t sure what that something is, that just CRAB your idea, “BOB IS CARRYING SOMETHING.” and move on.
You might hear the perfect joke a few weeks later and want to use it, or sees the item you want Bob holding; but if you wait until that moment comes before you start writing again, all the writing you could have been doing is lost time.
I had a writing friend tell me that she waited for six weeks until someone got back to her with the information she needed to continue what she was working on. After I told her about the “CRAB” technique, she slapped her forehead and said, I could have kept writing all that time.
After you are finished with the WHOLE book, article, short story or whatever you are working on, you can go back to all the red bold places and fill them in. If you happen to think of something you want to use later but you aren’t finished with your writing, just add the idea in your notes and keep writing.
Don’t even go back until after you are finished with the rough draft of whatever you are working on. Just write it down on your note pad and forget about it. If you go back before you are finished, you will be tempted to edit that section and that is a no-no. More on Don’t Edit in another section. it will be easy to scan back right where you wanted your idea to happen because you CRAB-ed it.
By the time you are ready to start going through your rough draft, you will be surprised on how many ideas you accumulated in your notes while you were working and how easy it will be to insert those ideas into your CRAB areas.