|Learn how to drool words all over the page!|
I’ve heard some writers talk about Writer’s Block like it’s some make-believe disorder of the brain. They say they don’t believe in it. I, on the hand, totally believe and know that it’s not some imaginary ailment.
However, I also believe that Writer’s Block is something that comes from within and only has power over you that you allow it to have.
I think that if you profess Writer’s Block too often, it’ll begin to feel more like the “dog ate my homework” excuse. You can’t just say you have Writer’s Block whenever you don’t feel like writing.
On the contrary, sometimes your puppy really does eat your homework. You can only bring your shredded pile of paper forward as proof. The key here is that you tried.
Looking at the fundamental basics of Writer’s Block, I offer you the following five points that I’ve found you can do to beat the block before it beats you:
While it can come in many forms, I’ve found that my own Writer’s Block stems from a lack of focus. It attacks when my attention is somewhere else whenever I try to write.
When writing, you can’t go at it half-heartedly and expect something great. You have to devote one hundred percent of your attention to it, immersing yourself in the task at hand.
Be willing to lose yourself. It’s harder than it sounds.
Maybe it’s a problem with your work or family life. Maybe you’re like me right now, drowning in scattered stacks of paper with notes for various stories and blog posts all over your desk.
Whatever it is, if it’s keeping you from focusing on your writing, it’s a distraction.
My advice is, get up, walk away from your writing and go take care of those distractions. Just get rid of them. It’s far better to spend a little time doing the dishes than poison your writing space by being unproductive.
If you get Writer’s Block on Tuesday, chances are there was something you could have done Monday to prevent it. Keep on top of things that have to be done so that you don’t get behind on that to-do list.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – stress kills creativity. But by taking preventive measures, you’ll kill Writer’s Block before it can strike down your creativity.
Remember KISS – Keep It Simple Silly.
It’s important to find a time and place where you can write daily – that’s right, I said ‘daily’ – and protect that place at all costs. There are several reasons for this:
The first reason is that writing becomes a habit if you do it daily. Doesn’t much matter what you write, as long as you’re doing it. The second is that writing becomes a habit if you write in the same place every day. It doesn’t have to be a desk in an office, but just some place where you always write.
This whole concept follows the example of the scientist who taught the dog to salivate at the sound of a bell (don’t remember names or dates here, just the principal of the experiment).
So how this relates to writing is, if you write sit down (or stand as one Twitter friend of mine is doing!) in that said place at that said time every day, you’ll be drooling words all over the page.
Just do it already!
Truth: sometimes we just don’t feel very creative. I learned a long time ago that we can’t wait for inspiration to strike – we have to go after it with a club, like Jack London says in his famous quote.
Don’t get me wrong. Inspiration is great. But it doesn’t do much good to be struck by inspiration while at your day job and you can’t even spare a second to make a note.
So, I’ll argue that while there are all kinds of crazy ways out there to overcome Writer’s Block, sometimes it just takes the act of writing to get us going.
And remember: you can always edit later, but not if there’s nothing there to edit.
What are some handy tricks to overcoming Writer’s Block that you’ve found? Or do you not believe there is such an ailment, and why?