It’s 8.00 a.m. I’m staring into the bleakness that is a New Blank Document. The minutes on the clock at the top right of my screen are zipping by and still, no words come. “Your 2,500 word essay is due at 4.00 p.m.” a nagging voice repeatedly echoes in my head. I’m antsy and paranoid. I can’t think of a word, not ONE darn solitary word that will get this essay going. I wish I knew then what I know now.
Six word stories. Six word stories! If only someone had told me to try crafting a simple six word sentence initially, and then build from there, writer’s block (mixed with a sprinkle…okay, more like a dollop…of procrastination) might not have got the best of me as I struggled to meet assignment deadlines. My problem has always been that first line. If that first line isn’t perfect, the words don’t flow.
Lately, blog post ideas have been flooding in, however, fleshing out these ideas into actual blog posts that people can read has not fared as well. Things take a turn for the worse if life, as it often does, gets in the way of my becoming an Internet superstar.
The busier I am, the harder it is to settle down and write. Writing prompts helped for a bit, but then they didn’t. I had to find a technique that would force the words out from the vast nothingness that is my dusty attic of a brain.
Enter SickChristine and her Say It In Just Six Words blog post. I grabbed my notebook and started scribbling. I didn’t overthink it. That was instrumental in curbing the hesitation that so often accompanies writer’s block. This exercise really helped me to get my brain moving from the point zero that it was stuck on.
In less than ten minutes, I’d written a few crude stories:
With a sigh, he let go.
With a sigh, she stepped outside.
The monsters within wouldn’t leave quietly.
Some fairy tales are really nightmares.
Her broken leg lagged behind her.
How can I trust your mother?
You didn’t care enough to stay.
With him, she believed in God.
The little boy froze in amazement.
The old woman trembled with delight.
He gave it to a stranger.
Sarah died never knowing her truth.
At least his dogs loved him.
What is the point of anything?
Nobody cared. Nobody ever would. Fact.
Good little girls are a myth.
To have and to hold nothing.
She could never count on him.
The demon screamed writhing in pain.
He felt the moment death came.
“True love doesn’t exist.” he sighed.
He was home. He was safe.
All he had was her betrayal.
She refused to let evil win.
I found myself asking questions about what I’d written and out of those questions came second and third lines. I couldn’t get the words to stop. I had been cured!
I’ll definitely continue to use six word stories to spark my creativity. And I’ve got my eye on another that I think could be fun and useful too – One Liner Wednesday.
I’d be happy to hear what you use to banish writer’s block. Let me know in the comments below.