All writers experience writer’s block moments when one simply struggles to put ideas into words. While the media continues to portray writer’s block as some sort of dark spell, it’s really nothing more than a manifestation of various, and often times, tiny obstacles. These distractions simply needs to be faced every time you find yourself staring at an empty wall that’s really just a blank sheet of paper.
Origin of the Spell
But what really causes writer’s block? While the specifics may vary, they are generally about:
- Bad Timing
Whether you’re physically, emotionally or mentally tired, not ready with your material or having a hard time picking off from where you left, it’s never a good time to write and won’t yield a promising start.
- Anticipating anxiety
Sometimes your excitement leads you to set big goals and high standards. You find yourself overwhelmed with negativity instead of just writing and enjoying the process. Also, anticipating people’s reactions and opinions contribute to diminishing your confidence and in turn, stalling your creative mood.
- Unnecessary Distractions
From poor lighting, loud noises, conflict of schedules, errands that suddenly pop up, unresolved personal issues down to an unattended financial obligation, these things can cause major distractions. If you can’t arrest or set aside these concerns first, they are likely to hamper your productivity. Writer’s block in itself, in fact, just another distraction to be dealt with.
Conquer the Day
- Get some fresh air
Author’s block is toxic and sometimes you just need to walk it off. Sometimes all it takes is a stroll in the park, see some greens, and not think of your pending work at all. A 15-minute walk helps you clear your mind from all the unnecessary hassles and helps you reunite with your inner peace and more immediate goals.
- Create a daily sparkplug
Routines are pretty effective in getting yourself pumped-up. It could be anything from physical activity to a short, calculated leisure like playing a PC game, watching video clips (TV is known to invite procrastination), or simply listening to your favourite playlist, or even reading few pages from a novel. Do practically anything to gain momentum in order to get that writer’s block out of the way and get those creative juice flowing.
- Keep your creative center serene
Artists and writers prefer to work in their own personal space. A poorly maintained workspace is likely to distract you. If you find yourself drained and unable to just get pass scribbles and doodles, try cleaning your workspace and free your desk from unnecessary clutter. You might be surprised with the burst of energy and feeling of freshness it brings.
- Keep a pocketful of sunbeams
Everyone has a gloomy day where one feels uninspired, left out, or simply out of sync. One way to combat writer’s block is to think of your happy thoughts. Well, not just literally diving into nostalgia or reverie but whatever draws positive vibes. You can read a quote from your personal hero, have a conversation with a good friend, catch up with your buddies, watch a scene from a film you love, or order your favorite food. Just do anything that will warm your heart and eventually break that internal ice.
- A tiny dose of distraction is okay
Sometimes the only way to beat writer’s block is to take a break. It’s pretty much the same with your ‘sparkplugs’, only they’re spontaneous. It could be answering a crossword puzzle, solving a rubik’s cube, or simply tinkering with your laptop or checking your newsfeed (but not for too long). As much as possible we would want these distractions to be brief, just enough to make you miss your desk and make you punch those keys.
As I’ve mentioned above, writer’s block is really just a symptom of various concerns you simply need to specifically remedy. Momentum is the key and it’s determined by the amount of baggage you unload. The number of solutions simply equate with the number of obstacles that presents itself in those particular moments when nothing seems to work.
With the exception of one. According to Jeff Goins
“If you’re still not satisfied, you have one last resort, an ace up your sleeve. The silver bullet solution. The fail-proof way to overcome writer’s block is one you already know. In fact, you’ve been avoiding it this whole time, because it’s precisely what you don’t want to hear.”
“You overcome writer’s block by writing.”
That’s right, just write. Just scribble or type anything. It doesn’t have to make sense at first, just begin with few words, few lines and don’t worry if it doesn’t seem profound or perfect. The goal is to start something and not allow writer’s block to hang around. Quoting a line from the movie Finding Forrester, “You write your first draft with your heart, and you rewrite with your head.” Writing is an adventure and every paragraph or page should be a journey, not an errand.
You don’t have to do it right, you just need to do it. Write.
This is undeniably the hardest obstacle for writers.
What I do is I try to write something daily. Whether continuing what I currently have or just a random idea, this gets my creative juices flowing.