It happens to the best of writers.
It’s happened to me and, if it hasn’t already, it will likely happen to you one day.
You know what it is. That dreaded writer’s block. You stare at a black page, a blinking cursor, or a rickety set of keys and realize you’ve got nothing… nada… zilch. Your muse has abandoned you. All those voices in your head have suddenly gone mute. Inspiration kicked you out of that zone you were in last night (that fickle little princess) and now you are left stranded without an idea in sight. You wonder what happened. What’d you do wrong? And, more importantly, how long is this going to last?
But don’t worry. There are things you can do, steps you can take. In fact, there is a myriad of advice out there about how to overcome writer’s block. Here are a few of my favorite.
1. Change Outlets
Take a break. Take the pressure off and go do something fun. Go out with friends. Go to the gym. Go to the mall (Yeah!). Just get away and allow your creative brain to rest for a bit.
2. Switch Topics
If you are having problems with a particular piece, it can sometimes be helpful to work on something completely different and come back to it later.
This could mean reading something in line with what you are writing (writing about gardening? Pick up a home and garden magazine) or something completely different (writing a historical autobiography? Maybe a steamy romance is what you need). Do whatever works for you.
These are all strategies that have helped me in the past. But, my ultimate secret weapon against writer’s block is so simple you’re going to wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself.
When I feel a bout of writer’s block coming on there is one tried and true method that always seems to get me back on track and that is to just keep writing.
Put butt to chair and pen to paper (or fingers to keys) pick a word and write it down. Then pick another word and write that one down too. Before you know you you’ll have a sentence then a paragraph then a page. Just keep making stuff up and writing it down.
Sure you’ll probably write crap but so what. In fact, give yourself permission to write crap. Sometimes writing badly leads to something better. But not writing at all will always lead to nothing. The best way to get those creative juices flowing again is to press forward. Write nonsense and be okay with that. Write whatever pops in your head. Write character backstories. Find a writing prompt and see if that shakes something loose. Write a little Harry Potter fanfiction, a monologue, or an epic diatribe about the pros and cons of line dancing.
Heck, do like this guy and write about writer’s block.
Just write. Write a lot and keep writing. You might find that there is treasure in the rubble that is actually worth saving. More importantly, you may just banish writer’s block forever.
There are those that say that writer’s block is a myth and nothing more than a form a procrastination. What do you think? Is writer’s block a fact or a fallacy?