2011-04-02

A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 2

B is For Blocked

I sat down earlier today and opened up a Word file to start writing my post for today and my mind went blank. So then I started surfing the net for ideas and started to sweat just a bit when nothing starting with B struck my fancy. So I sat here staring at the blank screen for a while longer and it suddenly dawned on me that the answer was staring me right in the face.

Writer's Block

All writers go through periods of writing and not writing, but sometimes the period of not writing falls out of your normal cycle, and the worst part about it is that there doesn’t seem to be a reason for it. You want to write, you try to write, you push yourself to write and yet you can’t seem to accomplish anything. I’ve heard of writers who claim to have been blocked for weeks, even months at a time, and quite honestly, I don’t understand it. There’s all kinds of things you can do to combat writer’s block:

Get your blood moving. Take a walk, go to the gym, heck, vacuum your house – anything to get that blood moving and refresh your mind.

Change your surroundings. Take your laptop to the library or a coffee shop to do your writing. If you don’t have a lap top, get back to basics and take a pad of paper and a pen with you.

Outline whatever it is you’re working on, even if you’re normally a pantser. Outlining your writing will break it up into easily manageable chunks.

Sometimes, the best way to beat writer’s block is just to start writing. The first word or even the first sentence is sometimes the hardest. The more you get down, the easier it will be to continue…just be sure to edit later.

Work on more than one project at a time. Sometimes it’s helpful to be able to switch to something else. I always have several projects on the go for just this reason.

Try some writing exercises. Exercises can loosen up the mind and get you to write outside the box. If nothing else, they get words on the page.

Always keep in mind why you started writing in the first place. Are you writing what you love, or what you think you should be writing? The writing that you enjoy doing is the writing your readers will instinctively connect with. If you continue to keep in mind the joy you first felt in writing, it will sustain you, not only through your current block, but through whatever the future holds.

10 comments:

Murees Dupé said...

Great post! Witer's block is a writer's biggest fear or at least it is one of mine.

Thank you for stopping by and for following my blog.

Nofretiri said...

To borrow Carol's line: "Great minds think alike." Oh yes, we do! :-)

I've also written about B for Blockade and how I break the curse of the blank page. Have a look!

Wish you all a relaxing, sunny and very inspiring Sunday! :-)

Karin

Marie Anne said...

I'm at my worst when I have article assignments due. For some reason, I choke when staring at a due date.

Popping in by way of the A-Z Challenge. I’m blogging at:
http://www.writewrongorindifferent.com/
http://marieannesmissives.blogspot.com/
http://gallongarden.blogspot.com/
http://macrochet.blogspot.com/

M Pax said...

Block is a stinker. Usually I only get it for one WIP at a time. So, I can switch to another. Yeah, I get them for blogging, too.

Nice to bump into you :)

J.L. Campbell said...

I'm lucky I've never experienced this, I think because of the way I write. I don't write everyday, but in fits and starts and I won't write for ages and then one day when my story calls loudly enough I start writing again. Weird, I know.

mooderino said...

Interesting post,
regards
Mood

K.C. Woolf said...

I never worry about writer's block. There are times when I don't write because I'm busy with something else, but it doesn't scare of frustrate me.

Sometimes our brains need time to absorb and process new information (or old experiences). I don't think we're wired to just produce and create all the time.

Michelle Gregory said...

i was stuck on my 3rd draft of my fantasy novel (or whatever draft, can't keep track) and i remembered the last thing you mentioned, writing what you love. gotta get back to that.

thanks for stopping by.

sue said...

I like how your mind worked, when I started reading I thought 'I hope she'll write about her blank page'. All good ideas.
Sue@JumpingAground

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Powerful Woman Writer Award.
Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
~Deirdra