Reverse Writer’s Block

After suffering for years from total writer’s block due to depression, my imagination was freed up when the then-new anti-depressants came on the market back in the Eighties. Prior to those years, I was able to write non-fiction easily, but couldn’t do fiction at all. Curiously, since those days, I’ve encountered a kind of reverse writer’s block; that is, too many ideas explode into my head at one time, and I often have trouble choosing the right one for the murder mysteries I write! It’s like all those imprisoned ideas made a sudden mass escape from the jail of 40+ years of depression, and each one urgently demands the attention it was starved of over the decades. Eventually, I learned to relax and enjoy the onslaught by listening to the most insistent of those freed choices. Sometimes, they shout “I’m the one! Build a story around me!” But, most times, it’s the quiet voice in the background that eventually grabs my notice. And often it’s an idea or character that I really don’t like and want to go away! That’s when I take a deep breath, start exploring, and remind myself that I’m lucky to have any story ideas in my head at all, let alone an explosion of them!

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