Introducing Guest Blogger Karen Downing

Written on February 13, 2014 by Fairy God Blogger of

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Hello my special friends, I would like to introduce you to Karen Downing.  Karen is the author of Creating your Life Path: One Dream at a Time, and is working on her next book, How your Past Lives Affect your Money Now.    Karen has decided to write about writer’s block.  I thought this was very interesting since many very famous writers have had a word or two to say about this.
 
One of my favourites, known as one of the greatest crime fiction writers of our time, Elmore Leonard passed away in August of this year. He left more than 40 novels to his name, many of which (3:10 to Yuma, Get Shorty, Out of Sight) have been turned into Blockbuster movies. He also left some good kernels of advice about the writing life.  Here's what he has to say about writer's block:
"You hear of writers having such a tough time. They say, 'I can't make it work', and I always think, 'Why not?' I don't believe in writer's block. I've only been stuck briefly but then something will interrupt my day. I'll focus on that and when I go back to my work, I'm not stuck any more."

When I started out, I found a writer I liked and learned from him. I liked Hemingway because he didn't use too many words. He'd leave out descriptions of people so the reader could visualise what the characters looked like. When I saw he did that, I thought to myself: 'Hey, I can do this.”  I wonder what J.K. Rowling would think of this?  She wrote so many novels in such a short period of time it is hard to believe she had writer’s block – oh well, let’s hear what Karen has to say about it:
 
Using Filler Words to Move beyond Writer’s Block
Karen Downing
 
There are many distractions that can clog up the flow of writing, don’t let finding the “right” word be one of them. Writing is a process that we can hinder, or facilitate, by how much pressure we put on ourselves to put words on a page. However, as writers, we must always remember that our first draft is never identical to our final copy.
 
Every writer has been flummoxed by a word “on the tip of the tongue” that just cannot seem to form.  But, don’t get stuck, just plug in a filler word and move on. You can always go back later.
 
This tactic works with any word you may be stuck on. You can even create a system of using certain filler words for specific parts of speech, such as choosing the word “adverb” to hold a place that will be later filled by an apt adverb.  Moreover, if you are someone who struggles (like many writers do) with repeating the same word throughout your text, simply add that comfort word to your list of filler words to review for. Then make a habit of switching out your comfort words and phrases for more descriptive ones when you are in the review phase. Every time you go through this process, you will increase your inner library of vocabulary, making it easier for you to utilize more descriptive synonyms in future works. 
 
I have found that the more I am able to let go of that need to find that “right” word, and simply plug in a filler word, the flow of the writing process becomes less restricted. Then, I go back after a short break, and review my work to assess more specifically what each of my filler words (or comfort words) should be changed to.  During review I ask myself the simple question, “What am I trying to say here?” The answer usually leads me directly to that word I need.  I prefer to do my review within 24 hours (if not sooner) of the initial draft. This accelerates the review and replacement process, as the memory of the original idea is not too far removed. Whatever I write in a given day, will be reviewed before I write the next day.
 
One last tip here is to stop being so attached to your thesaurus. Yes, they can be a wonderful tool, when used correctly. But, a common mistake in swapping out synonyms can be made when you do not have enough knowledge of the selected word’s connotation. If you feel you need to brush up on your vocabulary, then use a thesaurus as a study guide. But, when it comes to the flow of your writing and the voice of your piece, one of the biggest disruptions in continuity is a poorly selected synonym plucked from the thesaurus.
 
Yes, you are a writer, so write! Don’t get stuck on the little details; you always need to review your work anyway. Learn to facilitate the flow of your message, and let go of your time-eating thoughts on word selection. By doing so, you will discover your ideas can truly expand to their greatest potential, and you experience less moments of feeling stuck. Make your process of writing be about the flow of creativity once again!
 
Author Info:
 
Karen’s website, AurorasMessage.com, is filled with fantastic content for anyone on their path of personal awakening. Learn about  tools such as affirmations, crystals for healing, past life patterns and more. Karen also offers classes and services to assist you in understanding your soul’s journey and personal calling.  See the bottom of her blog to access her website.
 
Thanks again!

Karen

Karen Downing
karen@aurorasmessage.com
AurorasMessage.com
Bringing Compassion to Humanity
Facebook/AurorasMsg
Twitter/aurorasmessage

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