Many writers believe that a writer’s block is nothing, has no meaning. You don’t run out of ideas, it is only momentary lack of inspiration, energy, motivation, creativity or simple laziness oozing through your bones. What do you think? Comment below, what a writer’s block means to you before we start to talk about ways to overcome it.
For me, a writer’s block is a state of mind so exhausted in the point of time when it needs to write that even though I pull my body into the act, my brain just refuses to go forward and create.
What is a Writer’s block?
Essentially the concept of writer’s block is said to be a mentality, a state of mind in writers where irrespective of commitment or skill, the writers is unable to create. There can be many reasons in addition to the ones mentioned above. You may have additional house chores or family demands because of home-shut kids like most people, you may be overrun by exhaustion or feel uninspired; reasons vary but letting it affect writing isn’t going to help you create a masterpiece you have always wanted to.
Get out of this terrible fix called Writer’s block.
Overcoming a Writer’s Block
Over the years, as a writer, I have tried new things, old things and original things to get myself to write while going through a blocked period. Here are some of the things I have tried, some I still do and you can try for yourself too:
Use an Idea Book
To begin, stack small notebooks in places where you think you find yourself most creative. My place is the kitchen and bedside drawer. Find yours. Note whenever an idea starts to take shape, irrespective of judgement. Once a week, consolidate those ideas neatly in an Idea book. Find your idea book in times of need. Either find an idea that you like in the moment or pick the first thing in the idea book if nothing suits your fancy. It essential not to start from a clean slate or blank page when trying to overcome a writer’s block.
I recognize that this might not work for everybody but reading always inspires me in new ways. Not just reading a book, a fiction or non-fiction but even course books (nostalgia helps) or articles and newsletters. Here is an article I came across while looking for new ways to deal with writer’s block. It is brilliant and fun and spirit-freeing to exercise the way of creative writing mentioned in the article. This not only inspired me to free write but became the new fun technique to use going forward.
Free writing is the easiest advice and the hardest of tasks. The concept is to write without inhibitions. No editing. No going back to check. No topic. No description. You don’t even require coherency. Simply writing with flow at a fixed time of the day psychologically conditions the brain to prepare for the task at that particular time of the day. Just like waking at a fixed hour without an alarm clock.
If you are new to free writing, it will take practice and conscious effort to not go back in the middle of writing.
Write About Writer’s Block
Beware: This is may not be your cup of tea (or coffee). I tackle writer’s block by writing about it. If nothing comes to mind, write ‘nothing comes to mind’. If that situation caused you to be disheartened or frustrated. Write it out. This is my go-to method for overcoming writer’s block. As you write, your subconscious takes over the flow, spilling the words in frenzy and by the time you stop, the creativity has been unleashed.
Make your mental block your writing prompt. But if emotional writing isn’t you, write what you see or what you are doing instead of writing. Write about about something you did in your moments of procrastination even if that involves looking at the yellow wall and seeing pattern that do not exist or playing with the pen or adding items to your online shopping list.
Use online prompts
The web is full of prompts from writers, inspiring authors, teachers, guides and counselors. When you pick your phone to scroll through social media, look up #writingprompts. Instagram alone has 1.2M posts on the tag. Of that 1% suitable is more than 120k, enough to last 3 times a day per year. Then there is Twitter, Facebook and more.
Writing is an art and art demands self expression. Good art or bad art comes with technical learning. In a moment of writer’s block, leave the technical details behind and think about expressing yourself.
“Nothing is badly written”, easier said than accepted. Sometimes writing forcefully produces a craft we may not love and telling yourself that is alright, is an important part of overcoming a writer’s block and reducing its frequency. Differentiate them into ‘needs more editing’ and ‘needs little editing’ sections.
If you read this article in a moment of creativity block, you are already a step in towards overcoming ther writer’s block.
Let me know what methods do you use?
See you next blog!