Some of you may have noticed that my blogs haven’t been appearing very regularly the past few weeks. There are two reasons for that. The first is wisdom teeth removal. I simply didn’t feel very well after days of puffy cheeks and a diet consisting solely of yogurt and mashed potatoes. The second was a condition that every writer is familiar with: writer’s block. Some say it doesn’t exist, others say that it is a horned, three-headed monster that roams the woods of our imagination, but I believe that at one point every writer—no matter how brilliant or experienced they may be—looks at the blinking cursor on a blank page and thinks, “I can’t do this.”
I too have found myself avoiding writing at times. Once I actually start, I have a blast creating characters, dialogue, and plot. I think to myself, “What was I so afraid of?” but the very next day, I find myself avoiding my laptop once again, scared of writing. I suppose that for me, my writer’s block isn’t necessarily a lack of ideas but rather a fear of failure. What if it isn’t good enough? What if people hate it? What if I’m not a talented writer? However, I love writing and enjoy it immensely every time I gather my courage to fill the blank page with ink. Here are some tips for any writer to use when they find that their personal writer’s block is impeding their ability to write.
- Just Do It: Though I’m simply quoting a popular Nike slogan, I find it if effective in whatever you do. Once I actually start writing, I feel the ideas flow, my fingers type, and the pure joy of creation.
- Survive The First Draft: I bet that even Shakespeare had lousy first drafts . . . okay, so he probably didn’t, but everyone else does. First drafts are the reason we invented editing. Don’t worry that what you are writing doesn’t look so great, just get it on the page so you can fix it later.
- Though Shalt Not Compare: This above all, do not compare your first draft with another author’s finished book that has probably seen numerous edits and rewrites from the author, their writing group, beta readers, and professional editors. Your work can be just as good as another’s if you give it a chance and write it down.
- The Old Switcheroo: Do you every approach a scene in your story and realize that you have nothing to say? This is classic writer’s block, and the most common advice is to write and simply push your way through it. Another piece of advice I have to give is to take a break from that scene. Work on another part of your story for a while, or even another writing project. Often, when my mind has the chance to mull over something, I eventually figure out the solution.
- For The Love Of Writing: How do thousands of writers overcome their writer’s blocks every day? By loving what they do. They have a story to tell and characters to create. Writing is hard, but it is so much fun too. Remember all that you love about writing and let that push you through your fears and insecurities. If anything, write because you love it.
How do you combat your personal writer’s block? Tell us in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Twitter.