Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Shatter Your Writer's Block Pt II: 7 Quick & Dirty Writing Solutions

A few weeks ago, I wrote about 'Speechwriting in Reverse' as a solution to Writer's Block. In a nutshell, it means Speak, Record, Transcribe.

That doesn't work for everyone, though, and we don't always like to have just one solution, so I promised more to come. Here we go:

1. A Funny Thing Happened to Me....Today. Yep, sit down, and think about your day. Anything different happen? Anything funny? Anything awful? Anything boring? Even if it was the same old same old day you always have, there's something to talk about. Write down a blow by blow description of the day, and somewhere, you'll find something to talk about that will lead to something more.

2. Life Biography. If you haven't already gone over your life story, do it. Any significant moment, good or bad. Lessons learned. Heartbreaks. Great joys. Successes and Failures. Accidents, broken bones, getting caught doing whatever. If you've already done this - do it AGAIN. You've probably been around long enough to forget a few things the first time, or the tenth time, around.

3. How-To. What do you know how to do? Cook? Get paint off furniture? Build a birdhouse? Change your own oil? Plant a garden? Do your taxes? Play Poker? I guarantee you know something someone in your audience won't - teach it, and you'll suddenly bring up memories and stories of you learning how to do it, and doing it. Poof - instant speech.

4. Reports & Reviews. What have you been reading lately? Tell us about it. Why you chose it, how you liked it, how it affected you, if you'd recommend it. Works for Music, Movies, TV, or any consumable media - heck, it even works for restaurants. Where have you been eating lately? If its good enough for Instagram, its good enough for a speech.

5. In the News. Be cautious so as to avoid political/religious material, unless that's what you want to do intentionally. There's so much news available, you've got thousands of potential speeches just waiting for you on the web.

6. Finding Forrester Approach. In this movie, Sean Connery played a fictional writer in seclusion who mentored a young writer in the neighborhood. One of his tricks was to give him one of his old articles, have him start re-typing it, and then take it into a different direction after the first few lines. Consider watching some YouTube speeches, bringing out your old speeches (you've saved them all, right? RIGHT?), looking at famous speeches - and doing the same. Just be sure to give credit where credit is due if you don't change things up enough. And the movie, Finding Forrester? Well worth a watch.

7. Table Topics. What was the question the last time you got up in your club? Wish you'd answered it differently? Here's your chance, and with more time to address it, to boot.

I'm not saying you're going to build something brilliant right off the bat. The key is simply to start building, and the above gives you the material to start building with. Once the mind is in motion, it will stay in motion, and your Writer's Block will fall away before you even realize.

Go write your next speech, and then Speak....& Deliver!


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