Tuesday, 13 February 2018

A Blogging Block! By Ann Evans



Lynne Garner’s blog post on the use of the senses struck a chord with me, as I’ve just been writing up my ‘tip sheet’ for the writing class I run on a Monday evening, which is all about using the senses in writing. I was thinking about calling it: Making Your Characters Smell. It’s always good to start off with a bit of a laugh!


Lynne’s link to the sounds of wildlife was really useful, and I’m sure I’ll be looking at that again and again. It’s funny the sort of websites you need to look at in the course of a day’s work. I’ve been writing thrillers recently and have been trying to check out security levels at MI5’s Thames House. As Big Brother is no doubt keeping tabs on what everyone is looking at on-line, I’m wondering if I’ll have the men in black knocking on my door one of these fine days.  



I even came across a site that listed the Top 10 Spy Sites in London which was quite interesting, and probably quite inspirational if anyone is looking to write something about espionage.

Of course, the biggest writer of espionage was Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond. This year sees the 110th anniversary of his birth. And as we all know he was able to base some of Bond’s activities on real life experience. His novels and short story collections have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.



I feel I’m rambling slightly in this blog, and there’s good reason, as I can’t quite hit on an interesting topic. It’s obviously Blogger’s Writer’s Block, because I’m not struggling on my various writing projects. I’m happy as Larry getting on with them. But today’s blog – knowing I’ve got a deadline of my own making looming, (I have to go out to my writing class soon) I need to find a topic to write about for this blog.

Plenty of nibbles to ward off writers' block at my writing class.

So, the joy is I now have it! Blog about beating writer’s block! And thanks to Lynne Garner, reminding us about research, here’s what the good old internet suggests:

There are certain foods that will give the brain a kick start. Avacados, kale, pea-pods, salmon, dark chocolate. Ah! I had some dark chocolate yesterday when out at a family celebration. It was an Italian restaurant, and their Cioccolato Divino was a bit too dark and bitter for a girl who likes Cadbury's cream eggs and Mars Bars! So, I have no dark chocolate in the house to nibble at.


Coffee, it’s said, helps sharpen alertness and focus, but don’t overdo it. The less we consume the more effective it is. But, I’m more of a tea person, and after boiling the kettle, do I reach for the coffee jar or a tea bag? Sorry, it has to be tea. The good news is that medical research shows tea being good for the brain. New research by the National University of Singapore shows that regular cups of green or black tea cut the risk of dementia among older adults by 50%. So that’s good then!
So what else does researching on the internet throw up to beat writer’s block?

Which to choose?

Go for a walk. Yes, I always find that’s a good one, but I haven’t time.

Eliminate distractions. I’m already in a quiet room, And I’m not popping over to Facebook every two seconds, honestly.

Read a book. If only!

Change your environment: Okay, I will go downstairs to the kitchen, make a cup of tea and get this blog done!




The internet also suggests play and do something to get the blood going. So, I’ve just played with my cockatiel, Georgie for five minutes but she was really only interested in admiring herself in the mirror. Took a photo of tea versus coffee (see above); and got the blood going by doing the dishes. The internet also says a good way of beating writer’s block is to free write. Which is what I seem to have done for this blog.

Apologies everyone and will try harder for next month.  In the mean-time a bit more research into what other writers say about writer’s block.

‘Writer’s block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol.’ Steve Martin, American actor

‘The scariest moment is always just before you start [writing]. After that, things can only get better.’ Stephen King.

‘Writing is easy: all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.’ Gene Fowler American journalist and author.

‘There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.’ Terry Pratchett.

Do you find blogs easy to write? And what’s your best tip on beating writer’s block?


Out now: my latest crime thriller Kill or Die https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kill-Die-Ann-Evans-ebook/dp/B06Y55N625




3 comments:

Umberto Tosi said...

Thanks for a nice collection of block suggestions. We all need them. I'm big on coffee and strong black tea - probably a carryover from my newspapering days. Alcohol only makes me think what I'm writing is great when it stinks. Love the Steve Martin quote. Better - as you suggest - a cockatiel than a cocktail.

Enid Richemont said...

Unfortunately alcohol does it for me, which I know is unhealthy, and also making cutting down or abstaining quite difficult (I do like the comment you quoted on this one!)Vigorous walking used to, but I have acquired a seriously dysfunctional ankle which can't be treated, so that one's out. Having a positive editorial response can, and does, work wonders. I'm not wild about chocolate or sweet things, but obsessed by avocadoes, which should, by now, have made me brighter than Einstein, but clearly hasn't.

Ann Turnbull said...

Oh Ann, I love your cockatiel! Used to have one, many decades ago, and he was adorable. No useful ideas for beating writer's block from me. Cats don't help, nice as they are. Nor does tea, or walking. I just enjoy them for their own sake.