Something Blue

Sometimes we get stuck. The story we’re writing stops working, or the words don’t feel right (if they’re coming out at all). There’s many ways to counter that miasma, and get us producing words again.

When you’re committed to telling a story, switching to another piece of work can feel like you’re giving up, but there’s a series of valid Somethings that you can write instead, that can help to clear out your head and get your writing cogs working together again. Almost everything you work on will be one of these four Somethings, so switching between them shouldn’t feel like the guilt-ridden escape that it sometimes does.

Could this one be any more obvious?

We often get in our way as writers, and we come in many forms to terrorise the writing of our own masterpieces. We’re the unmerciful critic, the perpetual naysayer, the buttoned-up shirt, and the devourer of vocabulary — the person that eats up all the words we know so we don’t know all of the words that we know so we can only use the same words we know over and over but not say the other words.

What even is blue and how are we writing it?

Keep your blue pens in check, it’s not the impetus for this. Aside from the many other meanings, the one we’re focusing on is the vulgar, the profane, and the downright dirty. There’s a perfectly valid reason for this, and it isn’t this writer’s demand for less wholesome reading material. No, that’s not even a factor! Blue language is a way of referring to swearing, cursing and the like. Blue movies are a euphemism for pornography. What I’m advocating here is take your muse out after-hours, and try your hand at something adult. It might be smut. It might be swearing. It might be an exercise in depravity that should end with the “The Aristocrats!”

It’s up to you, but here’s the why.

You need to go past your inhibitions. You need to challenge them, and stop them from binding you. You don’t need to portray what’s on the other side of them as anything less than deplorable if that’s what you feel is appropriate, but you need to get raw. Take the times you’ve been wronged, been angry, sad, worried, anxious, aroused, despicable, sickened, excited, everything . To paraphrase Hemingway, bleed on the page.

Set your muse free. Bleed.

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