The Opposite of Writer’s Block – Writer’s Overflow? Writer’s Flood?

by E.V. Jacob on June 25, 2012

Sometimes, you sit down to write, and you get nothing. Absolutely nothing. You just stare at the page (or screen) and try to make something interesting happen.

Other times, stories just hit you. For me, it’s usually when I’m doing something menial. My last instance of this was when I was cleaning the kitchen after breakfast, and for whatever reason the Black Plague was on my mind.

Then I remembered a woman named Elizabeth Hancock, a woman who lived in the town of Eyam during the 1600s. I had heard the story years ago, but her tale always stuck with me: The town that isolated itself to save others, and the woman who buried six of her children and her husband within a week.

I was thinking of how that would feel, and how devastating it would be, and suddenly, I just had to write it down.

And so, A Garden of Graves was born.

It was done very quickly, within about four hours – largely because the story was already written for me, I just had to make up some details, throw on an ending, and have a few friends review it.

I really believe in the power of menial tasks helping writing. Actually, doing anything other than writing is sometimes the best cure for writer’s block – if you’re staring at your pad of paper or computer screen, wondering what in the world to write, stop. Get up, go outside, go for a walk, tidy up the house, cook a fun meal, play a video game, read a book, drink some tea, enjoy one of your hobbies, or heck, even take a nap (you write much better if you’ve refreshed yourself with a 20-minute snooze).

Leave the questions in your mind, let them sit, and suddenly, you’ll be in the shower washing you’re hair and you’ll go, “Ah-HAH! THAT’S how it should end!” (Which will be followed by you madly scrambling out of the shower so you can write it all down before you forget it. Alas, this is the life of a writer.)

And if all else fails, just ask someone else what they think. You’d be amazed the great suggestions your crazy friends and family can come up with ;)

Now, I have to go finish up the next story – seeing as A Garden of Graves was completely unplanned, it’s given us a little more time to perfect the next “For Friends” story :D I can’t wait to share it with you guys!

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