Do you think writer’s block is real? I do, although some people don’t. I often suffer from it. I know the causes of my writer’s block. The cause of yours may not be the same. My blocks often come from fatigue, worry, and uncertainty. They cause me to lose my muse. The cure for the first is obvious, get some rest. The cure for the latter two is more problematic.
First you need to decide what it is you worry about and then try to solve that problem. Often that is easier to say than to do. Sometimes the things we worry about are stupid and so they are easy to dispel by the light of analysis. Sometimes that’s not the case. The trick there is to decide how to worry without letting it affect you too much. How to do that is best taken one worry at a time. It boils down to the concept that worry can be detrimental to your mental health. So learning how to cope with it is good not only for your writing, but your general health as well. The Serenity Prayer says it best and advises you to know what you have control over and not worry about the things you can’t control. That’s paraphrasing, but nonetheless true. I’m OK with that. There are things I worry about that just fade when I give the problem a direct look, so I guess I’m lucky.
The blocks I usually get come from uncertainty. I don’t know where my writing is trying to take me. The uncertainty is usually a result of my attempts to control the writing. If I could just let go, I would find the block melting away, freeing me to write. Sometimes that’s easy and other times it is quite hard to do. I get to a point in my story where the characters are fighting me and wanting to do something other than what I want or need them to do for my plot. I have learned not to fight my characters. If I find I can’t write, I just let the words flow as they will. That usually means the character have taken over. The result is often better than my original plan.
All that aside, are there cures for writer’s block? I think so. As you can see, the cures are simple. Relax. Meditate. Promise yourself a treat if you write so many words. If those prove ineffective, try to determine the cause of your block. That’s the first step. If you know the cause, you will be halfway to a cure. So the next time you feel blocked. Figure out the cause and then work out a solution.
I myself don’t believe in writer’s block, as the deadlines during my journalism era has always ensured that I got my work done no matter what. I guess that’s a good experience to have had, to prove to myself that I have it in me to overcome any rut. Thanks for this post!