If you are a writer or have ever found the need to write something, a report, an essay, a sick note for your child to take to school after a bout with the flu, you understand the incredible pain and frustration that comes with the dreaded affliction known as writer’s block. As an author, dealing with such an ordeal, can cause me more trouble than being forced to watch endless hours of reality television. Much like reality television, particularly any show featuring the Kardashians, it is a surreal, nauseating, awful feeling that makes me fear for the future of mankind. Moreover, much like any episode of a Kardashian show, which you can turn off with a remote control if not paralyzed with ignorance from too much exposure, you can find ways in prematurely ending the dreaded writer’s block, as well.
Now don’t get the impression that writer’s block is complete paralysis it is not it just feels that way. Also, it hasn’t singled you out, we ALL get writer blockage from time to time, it’s just a difficulty that we need to learn to overcome with practice. As author Joseph Heller, who wrote Catch-22 once famously said: “Every writer I know has trouble writing.”
So what can we do about it, once the dreaded black fog of writer block out has gummed up our creative juices and our mind? How do we get the machine rolling again so that the click of the keyboard is once again singing us a beautiful song?
The hardest part is getting started. The easiest thing to do when confronted with this psychological inhibition is to put off writing. It seems hard. It seems like there’s an enormous amount of time to get to whatever project you want to write about, but the fact is, the longer you put off writing, the longer the writer freeze will remain an uninvited guest that takes control of your life. So step one is to sit down to write. Make an outline. Draw a few pictures pertaining to your piece. You can even sit down and type a few pages from your favorite book just to get started, to get typing and motivated. You will be amazed how much that can help to get you and your brain going. The biggest concern is to get your brain out of the way, because that is hindering the writing process. Self doubt has crept in and taken control of your psyche, so your subconscious curls up in a little ball crying for mommy, refusing to allow even a few words of inspiration to get the process started so you can freely write once again.
So the trick is, you have to lull the brain into submission so that you can write naturally. Typing a favorite story is one of many ways to get the ball rolling. By doing this you type, which gets you moving in the write direction (see what I did there puns get the brain working too). As you’re typing though, the story captures your brain’s attention, that’s why choosing a story you like helps to get you going. Your imagination is stimulated and comforted by the story, and your brain relaxes. There are other exercises that can help you defeat that psychological inhibition, as well.
- Try background music while you write – Again, this will relax you and get your mind focused on something else, losing you up and allowing you to start the writing process in a state of the relative ease.
- Try setting a tone in the area you are writing in – When writing especially when dealing with a writer blockage it is best to choose a quiet, secluded spot in which to write. It’s even better using things like scented candles and artwork to set the mood and stimulate the mind. Once again, anything to alter the mind’s attention from being forced to write.
- Put it down – that’s right, let the writer blockage think it has won. Let the mind drop its guard, thinking you have quit the process. Sometimes getting rid of your written work for a few days, getting out and stimulated, can get the brain working, the heart pumping, and can help you overcome writer blockage.
Honestly, the trick is, anything that works for you that occupies your mind and opens up your mind so that your imagination can flow. Believe me when I say, too, if you find something that works once, that helps you defeat writer blockage, it will probably work again if a writer blockage ever pays you another unexpected, unwanted visit. Hence, now that you know how to beat writer’s block like a pro, it’s time to write something. Go ahead. You can do it. I can’t wait to read it!