Just like everything important you work at, either your nine-to-five jobs, sports, parenting, relationships, or caring for your garden and your home, you’re going to have good writing days and bad writing days. This article will help you deal with the bad days each writer faces sooner or later. Writer’s block is when your creative writing is not flowing.
Some days there will be so many ideas bubbling in your brain that it will be all you can do to make it to your writing time and get them down on paper. The words will pour out like French champagne into crystal glass. You are smiling and enjoying what you are writing.
On other days, it won’t be as easy. Still, the energy is there, and though you sigh a bit and pace a bit, the words come. You get something good down, or maybe you spend time revising and are pleased with the pages you put a shine on. You’re productive and you’re satisfied.
But sooner or later a day arrives when nothing comes, and you find yourself sitting there staring at your fingers or pen or computer, wondering what you’ve done wrong or thinking what you should do next. The blank computer screen waits expectantly, but you have nothing to tell it. Not a word. Or a horrible word that you immediately erase.
It’s writer’s block, and it’s got you in its grasp. It can last a short time or be ceaseless; some writers never recover from it, and give up and find a new activity. But that’s not going to happen to you. Almost all authors have at some time gone through a period of being blocked, and most have found techniques that let them break through the barrier.
Here are ways you can overcome writer’s block.
- Write for ten minutes. Even if you can’t think of a thing to say, set the timer for ten minutes and write something until the bell rings. Just writing over and over may put your mind back in writing mode.
- Your lack of imagination may be the result of a lack of food. Engines can’t run without burning gas; you can’t run without breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Decide on a way to reward yourself when you complete the project. If the treat is good enough, it will serve as an incentive to get back in gear.
- If you’re writing for pay, remind yourself that if you don’t finish, you won’t get that check. And you won’t get another assignment. A glance at your bill pile couldn’t hurt either.
- Read some writing that excites you. Reminding yourself how the greats do it may help you to uncover the problems in your work that are holding you back.
- Talk to other writers. Ask how they solve the problem or for any techniques they know about it. Even if something didn’t work for them, it might help you.
Lastly, be patient. If one of these techniques doesn’t work, give yourself a break and then try something different. If you get a few sentences down and then have more trouble, don’t force yourself to keep going, just try again tomorrow. It may take a little while, but keep telling yourself you’ll eventually get back to writing, and you will.