Writers block is the bane of all writers. You sit there, staring at a blank word processor, its cursor blinks evilly at you. Or maybe it is accusing you of being stupid. Rest assured, that blinking cursor is not evil. It’s not even accusing you of being stupid, because you are not stupid. You are only blocked. Writer’s block is insidious. It can strike at any time, anywhere. You will be happily writing and suddenly the words stop flowing as though someone turned off the taps. Someone did. You.
Often, we are our own worst critics. If we unconsciously decide we are writing garbage, we dam up the flow of words. You can tell yourself that you will fix it later all you like, the words still will not flow. Just read what you wrote and see if you can make a quick fix. If you can’t. Set that piece aside and try starting again. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. Whatever happens here, keep writing.
Writer’s block implies a single cause with a single fix. It’s more like the common cold. There are a million causes and just about the same number of fixes. Sometimes you have to try just doing something else. If you just can’t write, do the dishes or laundry. Go for a walk or go shopping. Take a nap. Sometimes we just wrap ourselves up in our writing issues so tightly we can’t do anything. That’s when doing something unrelated to writing can help.
Sometimes the fix is quick and easy other times, not so much. Free writing works sometimes. You just sit and write whatever words come into you head. It doesn’t have to be prize winning prose, or poetry. It can be just a trickle of words. As long as the words are coming, you are writing. So what if it isn’t anything you’d want anyone to read. That’s not the point of this. the point is to get writing and move past the block.
Actually, now that I think about it, there is only one cure for writer’s block. No matter what causes it, you just have to sit down and write. Grit your teeth and force the words out. I admit that sometimes, it’s the topic itself. It might have sounded interesting when you started it, but it could be just that, unconsciously, you just don’t want to write that. Switch topics. Write about something else. There’s no medication that you can take for it. Sometimes it just takes brute mental force to break the block. Once you get that trickle of words flowing, the floods are not far behind. You can always rewrite anything that you consider to be too horrible for anyone to read.
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