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.
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.