If you’re a writer, you know all too well what writer’s block is. Though it doesn’t happen to me very often (I like to say that I am “perma-inspired”), it really sucks when it hits. There are so many reasons why you may have lost the inspiration and drive to write. The cause could be anything, but I wonder if it is better to think about how to work through this trial than determine what exactly is causing it. It’s essentially a psychological barrier, but it can be destroyed with the right type of outlook and thought process.
Think of writer’s block as a way to move past another obstacle. A challenge. Great things are never easy to complete or obtain. Just consider writer’s block as another step in the creative writing process.
1) Don’t Wait for Inspiration.
Yes, really. Inspiration is preferable, but writing is essential. Even if you’re feeling apathetic toward writing (Or maybe, toward everything at the moment) and you can’t picture yourself writing anytime in the near future, just sit down and start writing/typing. Let go of your thinking for a few minutes and allow yourself to focus on the blank page in front of you. If all else fails, start editing something you’ve already written and that may just pique your interest again.
2) Don’t Compare
Perhaps the source of your creativity melt down is that you feel insecure as a writer. Maybe you worry that you will never be as good as that writer who just sold 1 Million copies. You know what? It doesn’t matter. Write what you love, create stories that excite you so much that you lose track of time. Be your own person. Comparing yourself to other authors will cause stress and… likely writer’s block!
3) Listen to Inspiring Music
This is what gets me every time. I can’t tell you the number of instances where I thought I was too tired or too unfocused to write, but that Game of Thrones soundtrack sets my creative mind straight. There have been days where I didn’t expect to write at all, but instead finished a few pages. Find that soundtrack or playlist or song that gets you in the mood to write.
4) Forget About Quality
Just write the story down and allow your stream of consciousness to guide you. Forget about all of the technicalities and word choices. First drafts are for you to pour out that raw emotion and poetic plot you’ve wanted to write down for ages. Let is all out. Then worry about editing and fixing things on the second drafts. Remember: You can’t fix something if there is nothing to fix. Just write. 🙂
5) Go for a Walk
This is another thing that allows for those creative juices to flow. Seeing a sunset, walking under the stars, or going for a swing in the snow can clear your head so that you feel refreshed when you sit down to work on your novel.
6) Do Not Be Hard On Yourself
It can be easy to beat yourself up because you feel like you’re failing. Some writers start to think that they are not cut out for writing anymore when they experience longer or more frequent periods of writer’s block. Remind yourself of the pieces that you’ve written and enjoyed. It’s all right! This isn’t a disease. You will get through it. I have. Others have. And you will.
7) Write Something New
If the story you’ve been working away at doesn’t seem to interest you anymore, maybe it is time to set it aside for a later date when you can begin it again with fresh eyes. Start a new story, something you’ve wanted to be writing for ages, and see how it goes. Maybe a new book was what you were supposed to do all along.
Good writers read. All the time. Pick up a book from your favourite author and you’ll very likely start feeling the urge to start working on your own masterpiece. For many writers, reading a story is the ultimate key to unlocking their own creativity.
9) Invest in a new laptop
Practical and also overlooked. Is your computer running a little slow? Does it take 25 minutes just to start up and load MS Word? You may want to purchase a new one so that you can get started on writing quicker. For many busy people, one hour is all they can spare to write in a day.
Writers, how often have you experienced writer’s block? Is there anything you would like to add to this list? Tell me your thoughts. 🙂