Whether writing play, scripts or completing funding applications it is inevitable that at one point you will hit a ‘wall’. The daunting phrase is more commonly known as writer’s block. This, I must say, is my greatest adversary when it comes to any form of writing. It has always been the biggest challenge when attempting to write, what I’m hoping would potentially be on par with Derry Girls… Love that show.
It is advisable to set up your own relevant writing space to complete your piece. It varies from writer to writer whether it be at a desk in their own home, a bustling cafe or even outdoors in the sun. My writing space has varied especially when doing crazy commutes around Galway and meeting tight deadlines, I wrote at any chance I got before meeting friends, before or after work, in between meetings/rehearsals you name it. When it comes down to it though, I like a quiet space at a desk with a podcast/classical music in the background. This is your space and your practice of writing you need to find what works for you.
Distractions and not being in the headspace does not help with writer’s block, quite obvious but they don’t. When you’re trying to write a monologue or complete a festival application form and you get distracted when Friends is on in the background, you won’t get anything done. The same goes for if your phone is constantly buzzing, you’re gossiping with your ‘writing buddy’ (ye are really meeting for the ‘bants’, admit it), your adorable pet is looking for cuddles and so forth. Before even sitting down to write, get rid of every distraction and ensure that you have a clear head before starting. If at any point you feel you’re not in the mindset, it’s ok to step away for a moment and then come back.
Once you know what direction you want your piece to go, that’s half the battle. If however, you have no idea where Act Two is going it may be time to step back and map out the direction of the narrative. I have found mind mapping, spider diagrams, key words and story boards the best tools to use at any point of writing. Sure it’s better to begin your writing with these but they’re always readily available at any point you may feel stuck and remind you of where you want the play/piece to go.
To gain an insight into the kind of piece you want to write, there is nothing wrong with seeking inspiration from external sources. Odd to say but since starting blogging this year I have found reading other blogs, content from influencers, relevant articles and even Stellar Magazine (guilty!) to enable me to find my voice for each blog. Even when writing plays I have found inspiration in real life scenarios, quotes from classical texts, old scraps of writing and the odd ‘aha’ moments. You guessed it, find the inspiration that resonates with your artistic mindset.
So when writing that next play and or poem find your own space, get rid of distractions, map out the direction of your piece while keeping in mind what inspires you. Thank you for reading our blogs all year I’ve enjoyed it so much and hope to do a lot more next year… Shhhh!!!!!! Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!