Writer’s Block – What is it and what to do.
Writer's Block - What is it and what to do.
Writer’s block is simply, the inability to write. You may have ideas but somehow can’t get them on paper just the way you want. Writer’s block is also referred to as mental block, and can be very nerve racking for a writer. I myself have been going through a temporary writer block of sorts. This is why I decided to do a little research and find out why and what I can do about it. First off let me start with saying, it is common. Some of the best authors out there have suffered from writer’s block. When it happens to you, you want to give up. At least that is how I felt initially. I then realized that writing was something I enjoyed and missed. So keep reading for further information regarding this phenomenon.
What Causes Writer's Block
There is not just one cause of this writer’s block. It can be a combination of many things.
- Harsh self-criticism: Personally I was very harsh on myself because my first two novels did not turn into success overnight. However I realized that I am an indie author (I self publish) and there are so many indie authors out there doing the same thing as me.
- Timing – You can’t rush it. It takes time to develop your ideas, formulate scenes, and character profiles. A lot goes into constructing a great novel.
- Writing outside of your genre – If you write great fiction romance, then stick to that. Don’t attempt to pen a novel about ghost and goblins if that is not your style. Write about things that mean something to you.
- Distractions- This is a huge one. If you do not make time to write daily then of course you are going to develop writer’s block.
What can you do to get over this writer's block?
The writer’s block is not permanent. It may last weeks, months, or even a year. But you have to put yourself out there and just start writing. Even if it is not your next best novel. Here are some tips to help.
- Set aside a time to write every day. It can be something short such as a blog, journal entry, poem, song lyrics, etc.
- Find writing prompts online to help facilitate those creative juices.
- Read inspiring quotes – sometimes this will spark something in you which turn into a great story.
- Keep a notebook with you at all times. That way if an idea hits you, you can jot it down.
- Read – sometimes reading a book will encourage you to write your own.
- Find a writing coach. Writing Helping Writers is a great place to start. I will link it here.
- Read other bloggers and join writing communities. I love this blog, The Artist’s Road. And a great community I found on twitter is also very helpful. It is #writingcommunity.
- When you get an idea for a story, don’t start at the beginning. Sometimes starting in the middle at end and working your way back gets those creative juices flowing.
- Create an outline of sorts. Include your main idea, scenes, characters, and character development. This helps you get to know your characters (even though you are the one creating them).
- Use apps like Inkflow or Word Palette App. Inkflow is a vision board. It is great for starting to map your ideas. Word Palette is an awesome app. It helps you reword your thoughts or phrases into something that will spark another’s interest.
- Read some of your previous work or even the outlines you created. Sometimes this will light an old flame and you will be itching to bang out another piece.
- Start small. A poem, love letter, song lyrics, or short story. All of these are quick to write and may expand into a great book.
- Lastly, DO NOT write to publish. That will put too much stress on yourself. Instead write because you love to! Publishing is just the icing on the cake.
Writer’s block is not the end of the world. And it is not permanent. Don’t give up. Remember why you decided to write in the first place and hold onto that. Check out this great blog, Reedys Blog. It is a wealth of information and tips. It even includes some writing prompts for daily writing exercises.
So just so you know. I have followed my own advice and have found my muse again. Writing is my therapy and I am so grateful to be able to do it again. Check out my writing blog page for some of my past posts. They include poems, short stories, and much more. You can also follow these links to purchase my published books. My Demons and Coming Home.