I first encountered writers block when I had to deliver a set of twenty 300 word reviews on 2007 model cars sold in America. The word count was not large though I’m no car buff so a little research was in order.
It struck me just how similar car reviews were and it made no difference if the reviews were of different makes and models. There is not a lot you can write about changes from the Aston Martin DB7 to the Cherokee Jeep to the Smart car! Don’t take my word for it, take a look yourself at car reviews and you will see that they are all extremely similar.
Unless you are actually going to take a car out for a spin, you are well and truly stuck with using reviews and writings that already exists for the model. Embellishment is superfluous as you’ll only be embellishing someone else’s embellishment in turn.
My principal asked me how the work was going and I responded “It’s like eating cardboard!” – I really had a problem getting 300 words out for each of the twenty models that I’d been given. I’m a fairly self-disciplined kind of chap and stayed stuck to the keyboard trying to concentrate and get the work bashed out. Honestly, it drove me to distraction and took an age to complete.
Fortunately for me, I rarely come across instances like this. On the rare occasions that it happens I sit back, get up and go for a walk, do the shopping or chase my girlfriend around the house and see if she’ll let me catch her. Anything in fact, than sit there and try to work through this barrier like a runner runs through the pain barrier.
My take on writers block is that it originates in my own mind and not from the subject matter. There is simply no mileage in blaming the topic, so the only variable that is left is yourself. I haven’t tested this hypothesis yet as I’ve not had a car review to write since, but I certainly have come across other topics that have caused my brain to freeze with the numb banality of it all.
Another tool for tackling writers block is to use a writing template which has already been covered in a previous post. Templates remove the need for your brain to be engaged if you just wish to be something of a keybashing automaton. The result may not be very pretty but it will be better than what otherwise remains a blank page on the screen with a deadline approaching.
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