Experimenting with poetry as a writing exercise can be a way to stretch your comfort zone, improve your writing skills, break out of writer's block, and introduce you to new ways of viewing your craft.
You’re stuck. Something about your book just isn’t working, but you’re not quite sure what it is. Time for drastic measures.
Yes, you could tinker away at the sentence level or rearrange a few chapters here and there — but when your ideas stall or you've written yourself into a corner, maybe it's time to do something radical to shake things up and revise your book. Why not GO EXTREME!? You can always return to your original stinker of a draft if these attempts at radical revision fail, right? So yeah; you’re totally safe to play around and get your hands dirty.
Here are four things to try when your manuscript feels like it’s falling flat.
I thought this video, produced by PBS, took an interesting look at the creative process. Though it's called "How to Be Creative," the video actually doesn't (and probably shouldn't) provide any step-by-step instructions or dogmatic rules. Instead, it examines the circumstances and attitudes that are most conducive to creativity.
Let's get negatively capable!
There's a brief discussion of Keats' concept of "Negative Capability," a quality which allows a person (like Shakespeare, for instance) to remain "in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason."
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, writer's block is nothing more than fear — fear created by an overactive inner critic.
We writers can be our own worst critics, and that makes sense; it's easy for us to feel like we've fallen short of our professional and artistic goals. But that critical voice inside of us, if it’s allowed to speak too loudly or for too long, can be crippling.
If you’re struggling with writer’s block, or just being too hard on yourself — check out this comic strip by Stephen McCranie.