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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Neat little toy ... but beware its shelf-life
on 9 August 2005
An interesting concept, an enjoyable marketing ploy, and a useful toy to keep around your desk as long as you don't use it much: the joy of this little work is its major flaw. Rekulak offers a book in the form of a three inch cube - it's as broad as it is tall as it is deep! A neat idea, an attractive artifact for your bookshelf, but start opening it regularly, the spine begins to crack, and the charming ornament is on its way to becoming a set of flash cards.
Now, as a professional writer, I assure you that everyone has their off days, their off weeks, their off months. Writing is hard for everyone and, unless you have the single-minded discipline of Trollope, there will be times when you just can't. Most people write for pleasure, some write professionally: everyone dries up from time to time.
There are lots of reasons for becoming blocked - I'm a qualified social worker, I'd immediately counsel you to understand the problem before you treat the blockage because, to continue the plumbing analogy, sometimes it's only the fact that the pipe's frozen which stops your house from flooding. First, establish why you can't write.
If it's just through lack of stimulation or inspiration, then tools like "The Writer's Block" can be of use. Try to write every day. Find yourself somewhere comfortable, or somewhere challenging, and write regularly. And look for inspiration everywhere - Rekulak points out that inspiration is all around, in magazines and newspapers, on television and radio, in adverts, books, the people you meet, the sights you see, the objects you touch. Learn to note, to ask questions, to speculate ... to ramble.
If you can't find anything which inspires you, then use an exercise tool like this book. Rekulak offers three different triggers to inspiration: Writing Challenges - a quick couple of words and a photograph, make up a story; Spark Words - words to trigger ideas; and Topics - areas of writing about which to speculate and get you thinking about your craft. He suggests you open the book at random and go from there - force yourself to respond to the trigger at which you open the book.
There are 786 of these 'ideas to jump-start your imagination' - the number, I suppose, determined by the need to keep the cube to three inches (7.5cm). It's useful, it's stimulating, and it's a sweet little novelty. But it does break down through use. And there are many writing exercises on the Internet which you can access for free.
A neat little marketing ploy, but consider why you've stopped writing, why it's happened, and whether you need to do anything else before you decide it's your inspiration which has run dry.