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Author's block: When the muse doesn't come...

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Whether they are embryonic writers, first-time authors, or Magnesia Litera winners, they have all met him at least once.


Writer's Block. The proverbial blanket that stifles the slightest twitch of the muse, and the stricken author blinks at the blank page of paper like a hen locked in a snowball.


It's like the flu. And just like the flu, there are plenty of instructions and advice floating around the internet on how to get rid of it. From the simplest and oldest ones involving rest, or a bottle of wine, to the most bizarre. And if you thought the unconventional ones included dancing in a grass skirt around a fire at midnight, with the afflicted author supposed to invoke the god of all writers, you were sorely mistaken.


There you have it: miraculous stones, hypnosis, herbal extracts, chewing, relocation, and last but not least, guaranteed to-work courses you can pay for. A couple of years ago I came across a gem where a certain guru was offering lessons for the price of a month's rent in Prague that would 100% rid you of the aforementioned problem. In the medallion, the lecturer was festooned with everything from literary prizes to laurel leaves. Unfortunately, the sad trend remains that those with guaranteed 100% results always disappear from the internet and the Republic first. Mostly outside the European Union.


However, if you don't want to become a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, a highly indebted person after a year's intense block, or if you're simply an aspiring writer who doesn't know what might help, I'll give you one piece of advice from my personal experience.


It doesn't matter, something works differently for everyone.

I've helped you, haven't I? But lest you say, I have a few tips you can try that have a similar success rate to a certain germ-killing disinfectant in toilets.


Probably the easiest thing you can do is just don't give up. Sit down at your computer, paper, tanned calfskin, and just about anything you like to record your thoughts on and get to it. Just don't push it. Even if your first sentence is as bland as this one: When I visited Adam's suite, I found my friend severely overworked. And that's it. As long as you started. Write what comes to mind, what you saw that day, and what bothers you. Even if you have to write about how you're having stupid writer's block and don't know what to write.


My favorite trick is just a picture. Sit down in front of a browser, or the currently very popular AI-generated image generator, and just casually type three words. Even if it's the first three things you see around you. Look at the image it throws up and start thinking. What, why, how, when? There's a story in everything. I entered, a snowman, a chicken, and a table. You can see the result at the beginning of the article.


Of course, you can still try a walk, brainstorm with friends, change your habitual stereotypes, or whatever you can calm down and switch off at. Still haven't written a letter?  It's possible that something, consciously or unconsciously, is weighing you down so much in your personal life that you're simply unable to do anything else at the moment. In that case, it might be worth considering sorting out your other problems first. (Maybe your inner critic is behind it, but that's another story for another time.) If you don't want to deal with those problems, at least write about them. Even a life of depression and misery can produce quality work. Edgar Allan Poe is proof of that.


P.S. Who knew? When I visited Adam's suite, I found my friend severely overworked. Put Adam-Poirot in place of his name. And you have the first sentence of the book: Agatha Christie: The Double Sin. Even a seemingly dull beginning can start something great that lasts for generations.

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Background Photo of the author Rina Vevesi!
Picture of the author: Rina Vevesi!

Rina Vevesi

Jihlava, Czech Republic

For me, writing is like opening a gateway to a new world - you never know what will be there, but it's always worth it!...

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