Overcoming Writers Block

Cat and mouseContinuing the series on overcoming writers block, here is the next tip:

Tip #3) Use the internet to your advantage

This is similar to step two.  It’s all about coming up with ideas for your writing that can help you in overcoming writers block. But this technique applies when you are at your computer and need to get the seeds of an idea and the building blocks to get started.

Often the internet can be a big distraction when you want to get good writing done —  so don’t use it as a distraction to avoid writing; use it as a tool to move you toward your daily word count.  Close out of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts.  Stop checking your email and site analytics.

Only use what you need to get focused.  Fortunately I am not one of those people who is addicted to web surfing, so this technique for overcoming writers block works extremely well for me and I hope it will work for you.

Start with an idea for a scene that you need to write.  There are two primary ways you can use the internet to your advantage as a tool for overcoming writers block.  Start by putting a few keywords into a search engine, like Google.

Search some images that can represent your character or the scene you want to write.  Next search for articles of other information on the same topic.  I have seeded so many ideas just by finding interesting images on the internet.  I let them take root in my brain until I can see the scenes playing out in my mind like watching a movie.

The next part helps you to find concrete words and phrases for the scene.  Here are two examples that I have used in the past.  One was for a scene I wrote for my young adult dystopian novel, VR.  The main character, Destiny Camden, lives in a post-apocalyptic world, and was in a virtual reality program that showed her some of the history that led to the collapse of civilization.

At the time, the ebola outbreak in Siera Leone was big in the news, so I did research on it and decided to use those events to depict the history program that she was in.  I was able to grab enough concrete words and phrases to build an entire scene that felt extremely realistic and true-to-life.  Because it was!

Another occasion when I used the internet to help me write a scene was when I was writing my novel, The Sorceress of Needle Hamlet, in which the character (a sorceress) turns herself into a cyclone.  What do I know about cyclones?  Nothing.  But all I had to do was put the words “hurricane” and “cyclones” into the Google search and came up with plenty of concrete words and phrases so that I could accurately describe what was happening in the scene.

Click on this link if you’d like to sign up for my in-person or online writers workshops.

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