His first assignment, creating a character and writing a chapter about him or her, proved daunting, despite the “help” of this professional writer.
He told me he had “too much going on in his head” and didn’t know where to start. My advice to “just put something down on paper” only made it worse.
He had it. Writer’s block.
So I took a step back, put all my writing and editing experience aside, and thought back to the basics. How do you get yourself unstuck? Here’s what I came up with.
Take a break
The first thing I told my son was to stop what he was doing and go outside and play for an hour. He was stressed about not knowing where to start, and my attempts to have him focus and “start somewhere” were making it worse. He needed to clear his mind and do something else. When he came back, he was ready to try again.
As writers and editors, we all know the value of putting an assignment aside and coming back to it another time. Unfortunately, we can’t all go outside and play, but we can go to the break room for coffee, take an early lunch, or chat with a cube mate for 10 minutes.
Change of scenery