We have all faced this menacing monster, daring us to trash our hard work and squash our creativity. But is it just us?
*Disclaimer* This post could just be my random out of order mind thinking this.
Not only does this post talk about how writer’s block could just be us, but it also has tips for writer’s block.
Think back to the last time you had writer’s block: Was it that you jumped out of bed, a smile on your face and you said, “Today, I shall write!”? You headed to your laptop to write down your scene, but no words came to mind?
Or was it that you thought that you should write, even though you could organize your sock drawer. You open up the document thinking that you’ll write 200 words before quitting. Is that when you can’t find any words?
I think that writer’s block is a result of forced writing. You know you should write so you try to. But if you truly want to write, you’ll find the words needed. Does that make sense? When you try to force the inspiration to come, then you’ll get 2 things. 1: A pile of junk or 2: An empty page.
When you make yourself to write you’re not only giving more work, you’re going to waste time. I will never make myself write if I don’t want to. If the scene in the train station isn’t working, then I’ll try to see what I can do to fix it. See, I’m not forcing myself to write it, I’m just adjusting and checking it to see what I can improve.
What to do with ‘writer’s block’
I’ll give you so tips. But it all depends on how you work. I read a post from someone saying work through it. Don’t back down. But I’m saying the opposite. It all depends on how you are. Anyway, this is what you can do:
Depending on what you’re working on, I’d think that giving it some space would work. If all you’re doing is writing a story that has no deadline, then give it a week to sit.
But if it’s an essay due tomorrow, give it an hour.
When writing something for school, I’ll work on it Friday and if I’m sick and tired of it, I’ll quit. Then when Monday rolls around, I open it back up and continue.
Work around it
As weird and twisted as this sounds, it’s pretty easy. Just leave the problem you have for now and don’t worry about it. Let it flounder. If you’re stuck on the topic sentence in your essay, just skip it and write the paragraph. By the time you are done writing the actual essay, you should have some ideas for the topic sentence.
It works the same way for books. If you can’t write the perfect scene that fits your outline, then skip that one and work on the next. Instead of worrying about the dogwalkers runaway dog scene, write the scene where she’s searching for it. Get it?
For the writers who want to work through it
If you want to plow through writer’s block, then go ahead. Don’t let me stop you. But there are some things that you can do to help you write good sentences, not junk from the garbage bag.
Envision the scene you’re gonna write
The root of the problem could just be that you aren’t immersing yourself in your scene. If you’re gonna write a heartfelt scene in a cozy coffee shop, make sure you are in the coffee shop. That means before you write, surround yourself with that coffee shop. See it, smell it, hear it, feel it; all in your head. Smell the coffee and scones, feel the comfy barstool cushion, hear the keyboarding from the college students, see the counter where the barista is making a latte for your boyfriend. Even after writing those sentences I feel like I could write a scene like that.
It’s just like running. Speaking of which, did you run the Terry Fox run? I did. It was a long 6.4k but I did it.
If you going to write that scene which has been giving you trouble, then make sure you don’t dive right in. Unless you get on a roll and can’t stop the urge. But if you’re slowly but surely writing, make sure you don’t just keep writing and writing even after you don’t feel like it. If you conquered part of the scene, that doesn’t mean you got it all down pact. Let me rephrase that in one sentence. Don’t get cocky because you did half of it, there is still the other half waiting around the corner.
AKA, just because you wrote half the scene doesn’t mean the other half will come easy. You can say “I did the first half so the rest will be easy.” You can’t rule the world bud. The first half that wormed its way through the writer’s block might be killed in the 2nd half. Does that make sense in any sort of way?
Equip yourself with everything you need
When diving in the murky depths of writer’s block, make sure you have everything on this list:
- Some sort of fluid- whether it is coffee, tea, or water, you’re gonna need it
- A companion- I’m not talking about someone whos going to leave you partway. I’m talking about a friend who’s willing to talk to you at 3 in the morning when you’re going crazy
- A weapon- how else are you going to fight writer’s block? I recommend books that are related to your book
- A map- I’m not letting you go blindly into this forest of mystery. You’ll need all the manuals, books, and outlines you can find.
- A fallback pose/Plan B- What happens when you fail? You’re going to need something to place you back on to your feet. Find the perfect cheesy inspirational poster that you can plaster on your walls. Gaze at it lovingly when every you fail the previous plan
- A kick-butt partner which will prod you when you need help- When hiking you should have a partner in case you’re lost. The same is for writing. When you get lost in the fog of WB, give your partner a text and hopefully, they’ll shoot you some inspiration. It also is fine if you have the second friend that you’ll eat when it gets hard.
Give yourself an end goal
I can testify and tell you that writing on 2 hours of sleep is pretty difficult and I don’t think I’d been able to do that without my goal. I told myself at 1:00 am that if I finished editing those last few scenes, I could catch a few winks of sleep.
And it paid off. I was motivated and finished my task and fell asleep at 2. But first I set my alarm for 4.
And that is all I have for you today! I hope this inspires you to kick the writer’s block out the window and be down with it…. till it comes knocking on the back door.