It is a fact that at some point in your writing career, you will probably have a case of writer’s block. It is also a fact there are as many forms of writer’s block as there are cures for the dreaded, fearful disease. Hopefully, I can shed enough light on writer’s block that it won’t be that ominous, fearful, dark pit of despair you dread happening to you, or that might be happening to you right now. First, let us examine some of the reasons for writer’s block.
Causes Of Writer’s Block | How To Recognize The Signs
- The ending of a project
- The beginning of a project
- Financial obligations
- Emotional issues
- Friends and family
With all these things in our daily lives, it’s a wonder we can write and be creative at all. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by writer’s block, it’s better to take it apart and understand it… and then conquer it.
In this day and age, our schedules are jammed pack with work, kids, husbands or wives, daycare and other imparative tasks and events. Our lives run at such a fast pace that we hardly have time to think, let alone write a novel. But, your calling is to be a writer. The first and foremost thing you are going to have to force yourself to do, is carve out a specific time from that busy schedule and stick to it. “This is my writing time….leave me alone.”
Of course, it is best if you have an office or someplace quiet you can sit down and write without being disturbed or interrupted every five minutes. This will help train your brain to recognize that at a specific time, it’s time to go into creative mode.
Writer’s Distraction | The Cure
Back to the issue of writer’s block itself. The “Experts” claim there is no such thing as writers block. According to these experts, it is actually “Writer’s Distraction”. This makes writer’s block sound monolithic. Something which requires a medicine man dancing over an open fire, shaking beads and a rattle, spouting some incomprehensible incantation, or a painful shot of unblocking vaccine in the arm to cure it.
Although not recommended, you could forge ahead and try to write your way through the block, but you will find this to be very frustrating and most likely a gigantic, soul-sucking waste of your time. Besides, there are so many other less stressful ways to handle “Writer’s Distraction”.
We all know that one way to deal with writer’s block is to walk away, leave it for another day and attack the project when you feel fresh and relaxed. There are other common ways you can deal with writer’s block, and here are just a few suggestions…
- Meditation: I don’t mean go sit quietly and mull over the problem, or try to think of what you are going to write next. I mean actually meditate. Clear your mind, let go and relax. Listen to the sounds around you… the birds chirping, the rustle of leaves in the trees… and feel the tension leave your body as you meditate. It’s not as easy as it sounds when you are stressing out about your writing. Break out the incense if you need to, or pour a tall glass of lemonade and sit down under a tree. Whatever works for you.
- Write a few sentences, or a paragraph, about something silly and/or insignificant. This actually works for many people to help get the creative juices flowing again, then return to your original project. A cherry superhero that fights crime and tastes great with ice cream…just an idea.
- Get some ideas on paper without worrying about how they sound. The writing does not have to be polished. Writers often have writer’s block because they worry about the quality of their writing. Don’t. That is what critics are for.
- If you hit a dead end, don’t keep beating a dead horse or swinging away with that hammer to break through that brick wall. Rewrite that portion of the story you are stuck on. In the end, you will find that the story actually flows better with new ideas. Unless your story is about horses or brick walls.
- Sit at a place where you feel comfortable. Whether it’s a coffee shop, or your own room, just change your surroundings. A new atmosphere may help bring in new ideas. Especially a tropical vacation, tons of ideas!
- Be like a child. Children often imagine themselves as anyone, anywhere and at any time. Place yourself in the story as one of the characters, relax and let it flow without forcing it. Play with it in your mind like a child. Don’t work at it, let it go where it goes. Especially if your character is a pirate. Always be a pirate. Arrrrrr.
- Some writers work really well with an outline, some don’t. A good trick is to draw an outline and use it to guide yourself in a straight direction. You can always have detours and curves in your outline, but it always helps you find your way back to where you were headed. Like a road map to Awesometown.
- Take a walk and get writing out of your head for a while. Concentrate on what’s going on in the neighborhood. Think about anything else except writing. Maybe that know-it-all neighbor of yours will spark an idea.
- Listen to some music for a while and just relax. We recommend Lady Gaga, but what do we know?
Get some fresh air and breathe deeply for a bit. Get some oxygen into your brain. Stay away from truck stops and bus stations, the oxygen there smells terrible.
Writer’s Block | Remove The Teeth From The Monster
Once we remove the teeth from the writer’s block monster and realize it’s nothing more than being distracted by your own brain, we realize it’s not the ominous, monolithic beasty we have convinced ourselves it is.
Writer’s block can be easy to conquer when we break it down and find that there are many ways to overcome it naturally. Don’t let it convince you that you will never write again. It’s a lot like that scary monster under your bed when you were a child. You will get over it and see it for what it really is, nothing you can’t handle.