As someone who supplies relevant content for readers, you will — at one time or another — encounter difficulty in putting your thoughts together in a cohesive manner. This blog entry will show you what to do when you have writer’s block.
As a writer, there’s no denying that you will surely have those times when you struggle mightily in that area. It’s simply a fact of life for anyone who writes. In other words, it comes with the territory.
But that’s no reason to despair. You don’t have to give yourself a lot of grief when writer’s block rears its ugly head. What counts most — and what will keep you moving forward — is how you deal with it.
What causes writer’s block?
There is no one reason that stands out above others. Typically, it’s a combination of things.
For novice writers, especially, fear can be a major factor. In fact, it can become a full-blown roadblock. It can be intimidating to think about how people will react to what you’ve written. It’s no secret that the fear of being harshly critiqued has kept many aspirants from taking the plunge into writing (articles, blogs, books). In that case, the possibility of failure stops them before they even start.
In other cases, timing can prevent the start of the writing process. Sometimes, we can talk ourselves into believing that we need more time to think before we begin to write. We may feel the need to have some additional time, which will allow our thoughts “marinate” a little more before we start.
Waiting — in and of itself — is not bad. What’s bad is if delays becomes habitual to the point where no writing takes place at all. If that happens, we’re defeating our own purpose.
Perfectionism sounds good in theory. But from a practical standpoint, it’s bad for writers. Actually, it’s downright counterproductive. If you continue to wait until everything is “just right” before typing words on a keyboard, you will continue to wait. You’ll know how this works because you see the immediate results in the form of a blank screen on your desktop, laptop or tablet.
What’s the solution?
Because writing is so personal, the ways to successfully overcome writer’s block may not work for all writers. Keep in mind that writing is an art and not a science. Yes, there are some good guidelines. And there is one sure-fire cure, which I’ll get into later on in this blog entry.
Creative ways to deal with the problem
Here are some methods that others have found helpful. But also understand that you can come up with methods that work well for you.
- Go for a walk (10 to 15 minutes or longer, depending on your stamina)
- Engage in a physical activity that will get your blood flowing (running, swimming).
- Read a book or listen to music that relaxes you
- Create a personal routine that help get your mind in “writing mode.”
- Call a friend
- Conduct a brainstorming session.
- Encourage yourself by reading inspiring quotes.
This is not an exhaustive list. So feel free to add other methods. There are no limits. The main thing is to do something that will help you get going mentally. Once that happens, you’re back on track to doing what you’re supposed to be doing — writing.
Here’s what you shouldn’t do to get past writer’s block
- Do not wait to write until you feel inspired.
- Do not give yourself a pity party.
- Do not procrastinate.
- Do not make excusts.
- Do not watch television.
The sure-fire cure
You probably already know this, but it always worth repeating, no matter how many times we’ve heard it. The bottom to conquer writer’s block is get something on paper, or on that computer screen. It doesn’t matter if you come up with weird ways to help you get started.
The way to get past writer’s block is simply to write.
Don’t worry about how what you’ve written reads. Just write something down — anything — and see what happens. The more you do this, the more you’ll find yourself getting your thoughts down and getting things done with your writing. The beauty of this is that you can always go back and edit what you wrote. That’s how you get over the proverbial hump.